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Plan for Removing Chemical Weapons From Syria Gains Traction

There are an estimated 20,000 Roma in France, a population that has remained stable over several years despite repeated attempts by both Socialist and conservative governments to persuade them sometimes forcibly to return home. Many French blame the Roma for a rise in petty crime and an influx of street beggars, especially in tourist areas of Paris, where crime rings involving children have been broken up, and where subway announcements warn every few minutes against pickpockets. In Sweden, police this week acknowledged compiling a secret, illegal registry of more than 4,000 Roma, including children, coming under criticism from politicians who said it was unconstitutional to register people by ethnicity. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls provoked anger Tuesday for saying the Roma migrants had a duty to return to their homeland and despite a wave of criticism, refused to back down Wednesday. Valls said the Roma had failed to integrate and that France had no responsibility to them. We dont have the obligation to welcome these populations, we need to say it clearly and calmly. It is not about stigmatizing a population, but facing the truth, he said. John Dalhuisen, Amnestys Europe and Central Asia program director, offered a different interpretation. The Roma have a duty to live in misery. Thats how the comments of the interior minister should be translated, Dalhuisen said. The EU justice chief, Viviane Reding, shot back Wednesday at the French government, accusing it of holding Romania and Bulgaria hostage to domestic French politics. Immigration is a sensitive issue amid campaigning for upcoming municipal elections across France.

France Moves to Impose Sanctions Against Google Over Privacy Policy

Pension products were the leading French review-period life insurance product category. Pension policies accounted for 82.3% of the segment’s premiums in 2012. Bancassurance dominated the life insurance distribution network. The channel accounted for an average share of 60.6% of the total review-period life insurance commission paid. Complete report Life Insurance in France, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2017 is available at http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/life-insurance-in-france-key-trends-and-opportunities-to-2017-market-report.html . (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130927/MN87823 ) France has a large and well-developed domestic reinsurance segment, with the reinsurance premium valued at EUR16.4 billion (US$21.0 billion) in 2012. There were 19 reinsurers operating in France at the end of 2011. International reinsurers such as Munich Re, Swiss Re and Berkshire Hathaway dominated the segment. Despite slow growth in the insurance industry, the reinsurance segment increased at a review-period CAGR of 4.9%. Complete report Reinsurance in France, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2017 is available at http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/reinsurance-in-france-key-trends-and-opportunities-to-2017-market-report.html . Non-life insurance accounted for 24.5% of the French insurance industry’s written premium in 2012, making it the second segment in the industry after life insurance segments, which accounted for 65.5% of overall written premiums in 2012. The segment grew in written premium value from EUR43.7 billion (US$64.3 billion) in 2008 to EUR47.5 billion (US$61.1 billion) in 2012, at a review-period CAGR of 2.1%. Complete report Non-Life Insurance in France, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2017 is available at http://www.rnrmarketresearch.com/non-life-insurance-in-france-key-trends-and-opportunities-to-2017-market-report.html . Companies profiled in these reports (profiled in different reports as per their market relevance) include: Scor Re, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Hannover Re Lloyd’s France RGA France, CNP Assurances SA, Groupe Credit Agricole Assurance, Axa France BNP Paribas Cardif, Generali France SA, Societe Generale Insurance, Allianz France SA, Covea Mutual Insurance Group, Groupama SA and Sferen (MACIF, MAIF and MATMUT).

“The Iranian foreign minister discussed the heart of the matter … he spoke about taking a year to move forward, but I reminded him that his president had spoken about three to six months, and he said that he’d be pleased if things could be done more quickly,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in New York. “I told him that we had to move quickly and that’s one of the issues that needs to be dealt with, because does nuclear production continue during the negotiations?” Fabius added. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with his counterparts from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States at the United Nations to discuss the nuclear issue on Thursday. Zarif, promising to address concerns within a year, made a presentation about the next steps that Iran and the six powers might take to try to resolve the standoff, which has eluded a solution for a decade. French President Francois Hollande was the first Western leader to meet new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly this week, warning that Paris expected “concrete gestures” by Iran to show it will give up a military nuclear program. France has been a strong advocate of sanctions to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. The United States and its allies suspect Iran is seeking nuclear bomb-making capability despite Tehran’s insistence that its program has only peaceful aims. “We can’t find ourselves in a position where the discussions last a year and during this time the number of centrifuges increase, and to enter the technical details that the Arak reactor progresses, which would be a problem,” Fabius said. Hollande told the U.N. General Assembly he was encouraged by the words of the new Iranian government but he now wanted Tehran to follow through with concrete action. (Corrects day of the week in lead paragraph) (Reporting By John Irish; editing by Christopher Wilson)

France challenges Iran to act quickly on nuclear talks

France’s CNIL (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertes) said it will initiate “a formal procedure for imposing sanctions, according to the provisions laid down in the French data protection law.” The CNIL had given Google three months to make changes to its privacy policy. On the final day before the deadline, Google contested the request, “notably the applicability of the French data protection law to the services used by residents in France,” CNIL said. As a result, the changes were not made, and CNIL made good on its sanction threat. At issue is an update to Google’s privacy policy that went into effect on March 1, 2012 . The revamp consolidated 70 or so privacy policies across Google’s products down to one. But with this change, Google also switched to one profile for users across all services rather than separate logins for offerings like YouTube, Search, and Blogger. It’s that account consolidation bit that had privacy advocates up in arms. In early Feb. 2012, the EU’s Article 29 Working Party asked Google to “pause” its privacy policy update, but Google declined. By October, CNIL issued several recommendations that covered how Google might improve its privacy policies, but Google did not make any changes. In Feb. 2013, CNIL criticized Google for not responding to its privacy-related inquiries in a timely fashion. In April, it announced plans to crack down on Google, and by June, it threatened sanctions and imposed the three-month deadline. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but has consistently argued that it does not believe its revamped privacy policy runs afoul of any privacy rules.