January 21, 1996
Web posted at: 11:41 p.m. EST (0441 GMT)
PARIS (CNN) -- The cosmetics store Body Shop in the town of Chambery has become the first shop in France to be fined under the so-called Toubon Law aimed at stemming the use of non-French words in France.
The beauty products shop was fined 1,000 francs ($200) by a local court for failing to translate instructions on some product labels into French.
The law, adopted in July 1994, requires that product labels, instruction booklets, advertisements and public signs either be in French or translated if originally in another language. It was named after former culture minister Jacques Toubon, who drafted it and is now France's justice minister.
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- A Red Cross official said Sunday that 120,000 North Koreans are on the brink of starvation and more international aid is needed to feed them.
"Starvation is a possibility," said Simon Missiri, of the International Federation of the Red Cross. "They are very close to that now."
"The problem is getting deeper," said Missiri, who was scheduled to fly to North Korea on Monday to tour areas that were devastated by floods last summer.
The Red Cross has been providing emergency aid since the floods hit. Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans remain homeless. Many of those people will need food aid until the next harvest in September, Missiri said.
TOKYO (CNN) -- A protester crashed a van loaded with cans of gasoline into the entrance gate of Japan's parliament on Sunday. Police said the van burst into flames but no one was hurt. The driver was the only person on board.
Police arrested the driver at the scene and said he was a 32-year-old member of Japan Imperial Peoples Party, a far- right fringe group which reveres the emperor and supports Japan's actions in World War II.
The incident occurred one day before parliament begins its 150-day budget session.
(CNN) -- The crescent moon heralding the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan was sighted in many Arab countries Saturday. With the sound of the cannon at dawn Sunday, devout Muslims began to abstain from food, water, smoking and sex until dusk, when the cannon will again boom in each country. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Jordan and Egypt reported sightings of the moon. In Morocco and Oman the crescent could not be seen so the first day of Ramadan will be Monday.
Ramadan will last 29 or 30 days, depending on the next lunar crescent sighting. It ends with Eid al-Fitr, a three-day feast marking. In Persian Gulf and Arab Muslim countries, working hours are shortened and activity comes to a standstill at the time of the dusk meal. Nights turn hectic, with heavy traffic and shops that stay open after midnight.
The month of Ramadan commemorates the days when the Angel Gabriel imparted the wisdom of the Koran, Islam's holy book, to the Prophet Mohammed. According to Sharia, or Islamic law, all adult Muslims must fast during the holy month. Only the sick, pregnant and nursing women, and travelers are exempt.
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (CNN) -- Search operations for more than 100 passengers missing after a ferry sank off the northern tip of Sumatra were halted for the night Sunday but were to resume on Monday. The bodies of two victims -- from Germany and Ireland -- were recovered Sunday. Officials reported that more than 50 people had been confirmed dead in Friday night's disaster. At least 47 people survived, with some of them saying they spent up to 18 nerve-racking hours in choppy seas. Some survivors reported people clinging to dead bodies to keep afloat.
The ferry -- which also carried cement, building materials and vehicles -- sank after hitting rocks in rough weather. Indonesia's Transportation Minister Haryanto Dhanutirto, who traveled to the scene of the ferry disaster Sunday, denied accusations that the boat was overloaded. Overloading is common on Indonesian ferries. Much of the population of around 190 million people relies on sea transport to get between the hundreds of islands in the archipelago.
Indonesian authorities believed many bodies were still trapped inside the ferry, which sank to a depth of over 300 feet (90 meters), but they did not discount still finding survivors.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CNN) -- Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide married his legal adviser on Saturday. Aristide, 42, exchanged vows with Mildred Trouillot, 33, a New York-born Haitian attorney, before at least 500 people.
The modest ceremony took place in the garden of Aristide's white mansion. The couple made a point of reaffirming their commitment to champion the cause of Haiti's poor -- many of whom fear that Aristide, their beloved leader, will abandon them now that he is married. As if to assuage the people's disappointment, the couple opted for a simple ceremony -- no bridal gown, no bouquet, no wedding cake.
Aristide won the 1990 elections in a landslide, only to be ousted nine months later by the military, whose reign of terror was ended by a U.S.-led military intervention in 1994. Trouillot came to know Aristide after she was hired as legal adviser to his government-in-exile in Washington in 1993. She will be Haiti's first lady only until February 7, when her husband hands power to President-elect Rene Preval. The wedding guest list included U.S. National Security Adviser Anthony Lake; U.S. Gen. Joseph Kinzer, head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti; and U.S. Gen. John Sheehan, head of the Atlantic Command. Aristide thanked his guests for coming on such short notice -- he announced his wedding date on Thursday.
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