French president unveils new cabinet
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday unveiled a 15-member-strong cabinet, with seven women appointed to key posts and socialist Bernard Kouchner as new foreign minister.
The president also appointed former Prime Minister Alain Juppe in charge of the environment, which Sarkozy says is a priority, and named former defense minister Michele Alliot-Marie as interior minister. Outgoing employment minister Jean-Louis Borloo takes up a new assignment heading the ministry for economy, finance and employment.
As he had promised during the presidential elections, Sarkozy reduced the number of ministers to 15, half of the previous government by comparison. The new team will set its goals at implementing the president's promises of change and reform to revitalize the sluggish French economy.
Long time friend of Sakorzy Brice Hortefeux was named to lead a new ministry of immigration, integration and national identity, which is devised by Sarkozy aiming to help unite the country amid rising ethnic diversities and tensions. Sarkozy's campaign adviser Rachida Dati will head the justice ministry.
In addition, Eric Woerth will head a new public accounts ministry that will draw up the state budget. Centrist Herve Morin will replace Alliot-Marie as the new defence minister and Christine Lagarde has been named agriculture minister.
Other members of Sarkozy's ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) Xavier Bertrand, Roselyne Bachelot, Xavier Darcos, Valerie Pecresse and Christine Albanel are appointed respectively as the labor, social affairs and solidarity minister, health, sports and youth minister, education minister, higher education minister, and culture and communications minister.
Sarkozy named his closest aide during his election campaign Francois Fillon, a 53-year-old moderate conservative of the ruling UMP party, as prime minister on Thursday. Fillon was a former social and education minister, and his crucial experience in pensions reform will be an asset to the new president's administration.
Currently, no vaccine or treatment for Langya virus is available, and the only solution is supportive care to manage complications pertaining to the zoonotic disease. A study published earlier revealed that the Langya virus was first spotted in human beings in 2019, with majority of the recent cases this year.
Bangladesh's finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has warned that developing countries must think twice about taking more loans through China's Belt and Road Initiative as global inflation and slowing growth add to the strains on indebted emerging markets. “Everybody is blaming China. China cannot disagree. It's their responsibility,” he added. The country, a participant in China's BRI, owes about $4 billion, or 6 per cent of its total foreign debt, to Beijing.
Israeli security forces killed a Palestinian militant commander and another fighter in a gunbattle in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the military said, triggering further clashes in which Palestinians said two teens were killed in separate incidents. Israeli forces surrounded the house of Ibrahim al-Nabulsi, a senior commander of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militant group long on Israel's wanted list.
United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Asia tour, which won bipartisan support at home and among the world's democracies, has escalated tensions with not just one, but two, regional rivals. Pelosi last week led a congressional delegation to Taiwan, in addition to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, despite weeks of warnings from Beijing of repercussions if the top leader in the US Congress landed in Taiwan.
NEW DELHI: China's “geostrategic ambitions” go well beyond Taiwan as its influence extends to Southeast and South Asia and all freedom-loving countries should work together to respond to the “expansion of authoritarianism”, Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu said on Tuesday. China's People's Liberation Army has said the drills focused on joint blockade and joint support operations. “China's influence also extends into Southeast Asia, South Asia, and even Africa and Latin America,” he said.