February 9, 2010
Posted: 1635 GMT
Bonjour from the French capital!
What does being French mean? Can you define "frenchness?"
That is what the conservative government of French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been asking in committees and debates for the last four months. After a ministerial meeting on the topic Monday, the country's prime minister, François Fillon, said new citizens would soon be asked to sign a "declaration of values" to pledge their allegance to a certain definition of "Frenchness."
Other measures include the obligatory raising of French flags in all public schools starting next year and making children sing the national anthem at least once a year.
But the debate has its critics. A journalist in the Globe and Mail writing from Paris reported that the debate "quickly evolved into a nasty quarrel over whether immigrants, and particularly Muslim immigrants, are French enough."
Quite a "patate chaude" issue that has descended into accusations of excluding the immigrant contirbution to French national wealth from the debate to trying to divert attention from France's real problems, like unemployment, ahead of regional elections this month.
We will cover the latest and speak to a Patrick Weil, author of "How To Be French" and member of high level commissions on the issue.
We will also cover all the day's top stories, as we continue to anchor IDesk from Paris all week.
We are live in Lagos, Nigeria for the latest on the Nigerian Parliament voting to make the country's VP the acting President. The President has been out of the country for months receiving medical treatment. What does this mean for the oil-rich African nation?
We will take you live to Kiev for the latest on the final vote count in an election that dramatically reversed the so-called "Orange Revolution."
Plus, more weather woes in store for parts of the Northeast United States. We have a report from Washington, D.C. and Guillermo will join us with your global forecast.
Plus, today, the IDesk turn one! We're celebrating the milestone on the show with a special story and (hopefully) a slice of cake or two.
See you on the air!
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