France PM Valls Survives ‘No-Confidence’ Vote, Pledges To Pursue Economic Reforms


Wikipedia states that a vote of “no confidence” is a statement or vote which states that a person in a superior position is no longer deemed fit to hold that position.

This may be based on the person falling short in some respect or failing to carry out obligations, or making choices that other members feel are detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in (one or more members of) the appointed government.

“No Confidence” leads to compulsory resignation of the council of ministers whereas “Censure” is meant to show disapproval and does not result in the resignation of ministers.

The censure motion can be against an individual minister or a group of ministers or a prime minister, but the “no-confidence” motion is directed against the entire council of ministers.

Censure motions need to state the reasons for the motion while “no-confidence” motions do not require reasons to be specified.

The French government has survived a no-confidence motion in the lower house of parliament, triggered by its use of decree to bypass opposition to an economic reform bill.  Those for the no confidence vote did not get a majority.

‘Kosher Supermarket Hero’ Rewarded With French Citizenship


Lassana Bathily has been described as the hero of the Kosher supermarket siege.

He saved lives during the hostage drama by hiding shoppers in a freezer when a gunman stormed the building.

Today, January 20th, his efforts were rewarded with a special ceremony in which the 24-year-old was granted a French passport and a medal for bravery.

Predictable: Spectacular Revival In French President’s Popularity

French support rises for Hollande after attacks

Similar to George Bush after 9/11, French president Francois Hollande is seeing a spectacular revival in his dismal popularity ratings after the terror attacks in Paris earlier this month.

According to sources, two major surveys yesterday showed French voters applauding his handling of the country’s most deadly Islamist attacks.

The boost for Hollande and his government, however temporary, prevented the anti-immigrant National Front party of Marine Le Pen from capitalizing on this month’s Paris violence as some analysts had predicted, one of the surveys showed.

Also similar to Bush, while the French leader’s improved image could help him combat resistance to his economic deregulation drive that is going through parliament, poll groups said the downbeat jobs outlook meant the boost in polls might not last.

Three gunmen killed 17 people in Paris two weeks ago, including staff at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, before they themselves were shot dead by security forces.

Algerian Militant Group Related To ISIS Execute French Hostage

Herve Gourdel, a French mountaineer whose life was threatened in a video released by the Caliphate Soldiers, has been killed by the Algerian militant organization. The Caliphate Soldiers have been linked to both al Qaeda and ISIS. Gourdel was 55 and worked as a mountaineering guide, and originally comes from Nice, France.

The Caliphate Soldiers are also known as Jund al-Khilaf.

His friends say Gourdel went to Algeria for a hiking holiday and also to explore a new climbing route.

“I was born in Nice in 1959 and soon discovered the mountain in Mercantour (in the French Alps) with my father and walked the first peaks. So I’ve had one desire: to return as often as possible,” Gourdel once said.

The video was posted on jihadist sites on Wednesday.  The militants said they killed Gourdel because France failed to respond to a 24-hour deadline to stop its military assault on the IS group in Iraq.

Like other ISIS videos, this video does not show the actual execution, though the aftermath is more graphic, and the militants could be described as even more callous.

In the video, the armed men claim to belong to the Islamist militant group Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria, and pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

After Gourdel is killed, the terrorists place his head upon his side, and then put it into a plastic bag and then they hold up the head.

Speaking in New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly meeting, French president Hollande said France would continue its military operations against the IS group in Iraq.

News of the brutal slaying came as the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution that compels all countries to adopt laws that would make it a serious crime for their nationals to join jihadist groups such as IS and al Qaeda’s regional branch, the al Nusra Front.

While chairing the UN Security Council session on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama expressed his solidarity with France. Looking at his French counterpart at the table, Obama said, “We stand with you and the French people as you grieve this terrible loss and as you stand up against terror and the defense of liberty.”

France has joined the US in carrying out air strikes against the IS group. On September 19, French fighter jets bombed a fuel and weapons depot outside the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.