French Presidential Candidate Skips Visit as Protesters Gather
The conservative presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy abruptly canceled a campaign visit to a neighborhood of the eastern city of Lyon on Thursday as demonstrators gathered there and warned that he would not be welcome.
About 100 demonstrators gathered in the Croix-Rousse neighborhood in central Lyon, some brandishing signs that read, "Sarkozy, you are not welcome here," others shouting, "Scum" and "Karcher."
Some supporters of Sarkozy shouted, "Sarkozy, President," but were drowned out by the demonstrators.
The words "scum" and "Karcher" have come to be both identified with Sarkozy and emblematic of his difficult relationship with France's ethnic Arab and African population. As France's law-and-order interior minister, a job he left last week, Sarkozy alienated a huge swath of inhabitants in the troubled ethnic pockets of France.
In 2005, he vowed to clean out young troublemakers from one Paris suburb with a "Karcher," the brand name of a high-powered hose used to wash off graffiti and also pledged to rid poor neighborhoods of their "scum."
Britain Moves to Exert Moderating Influence on Muslim Institutions
The British official in charge of reaching out to disaffected Muslims indicated in a speech on Thursday that the government intended to take some steps to regulate and try to influence the affairs of Muslim religious institutions and mosques.
The official, Ruth Kelly, the minister of local government and communities, said imams working in government hospitals and prisons would be required to meet certain criteria, including a good grasp of English.
Speaking at the Muslim Cultural Center, a mosque in a relatively affluent area of London, she also said the government planned to offer financial benefits to mosques that registered as charities and showed themselves willing to take a stand against extremism.
Kelly said she was determined to "isolate and push out a tiny minority who spread hatred and intolerance." The government would do this, she said, by emphasizing the need for Muslim immigrants to be British as well as Muslim.
Judge to Seal Psychological Files in Astronaut's Trial
A judge said Thursday that he would seal any psychological evaluations of Capt. Lisa M. Nowak, the former astronaut accused of trying to kidnap a romantic rival.
He also ordered lawyers in the case not to issue press releases, and he scheduled a hearing for Monday to determine whether additional documents should be sealed.
The judge, Marc L. Lubet of Orange County Circuit Court, warned that continuing communication by lawyers with the news media "will keep this case stoked up in the press," and he said he would like to keep the trial in Orange County "if at all possible."
Nowak, of the Navy, was arrested in February and later fired by NASA after, according to an arrest affidavit, she confronted a rival for the affections of a fellow astronaut in an Orlando airport parking lot and attacked her with pepper spray. The police said she had driven all night from her home in Texas, wearing a diaper so she would not have to stop to relieve herself.