France: TV channel fined for reporting Bruni affair rumours

A Paris court has fined the France 24 news channel for repeating rumours that first lady Carla Bruni was having an affair with a French pop singer. Judges ordered the publicly-funded channel to pay 3,000 euros to the singer in question, Benjamin Biolay, following a ruling that the coverage violated his privacy. On April 6, it was reported that President Sarkozy has ordered a “campaign of terror” to punish those responsible for rumours which circulated last month on supposed extra-marital affairs by the French first couple reported in Britain and Switzerland. Lawyers for France 24 argued that it that exceptional level of international coverage made it a legitimate story to include in their press review. The court rejected this defence.

Sarkozy speaks out against burka

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has spoken out strongly against the wearing of the burka by Muslim women in France. Mr Sarkozy also gave his backing to the establishment of a parliamentary commission to look at whether to ban the wearing of burkas in public. Read more here