1) French Senate voted to ban Islamic full veil in public
France's Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would ban wearing the Islamic full veil in public. The ban will come into force in six months' time if it is not overturned by constitutional judges. The ban has strong public support, but critics point out that only a tiny minority of French Muslims wear the full veil.
Spain and Belgium are debating similar legislation, and with such large-scale immigration in the past 20 or 30 years, identity has become a popular theme across Europe, according to correspondents. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 246 to 1 in favour of the bill.
The bill makes it illegal to wear garments such as the niqab or burka, which incorporate a full-face veil, anywhere in public. It envisages fines of 150 euros (£119) for women who break the law and 30,000 euros and a one-year jail term for men who force their wives to wear the burka. The niqab and burka are widely seen in France as threats to women's rights and the secular nature of the state. (BBC)
2) Deportations of Roma people