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PARIS | France’s interior minister proposed Sunday to strip French nationality from foreign-born residents for human trafficking and female genital mutilation, widening controversial proposals to fight crime.

Brice Hortefeux’s comments published in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper added to a list of offenses cited by President Nicolas Sarkozy in the latest measures of his so-called “war on crime” targeting foreign minorities.

The leader of the main opposition Socialist Party, Martine Aubry, on Sunday accused Mr. Hortefeux and Mr. Sarkozy of an approach “that harms France and its values by selective laws that are as iniquitous as they are unconstitutional.”

Mr. Hortefeux, who already had threatened to strip a Muslim man of his French nationality for polygamy, said “loss of nationality must be allowed … also in cases of female circumcision, human-trafficking or acts of serious delinquency.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Hortefeux also threatened to expel foreign Roma minorities who commit crimes and to tear down hundreds of illegal Roma camps.


Government tells banks to kick-start lending

LONDON | British banks must use first-half profits to boost lending to businesses, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said in an interview on Sunday, ahead of key results for the nation’s top lenders.

As major banks prepare to reveal that they bounced back in the black during the first six months of 2010, they must get credit flowing, Mr. Osborne told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

“We have got to be pretty clear with the banks … that we will not tolerate banks piling the pressure on small- and medium-sized businesses,” the finance minister said.

“They have an economic obligation to assist that sector and give it all the assistance that they got.”


Investigator killed in North Caucusus

MAKHACHKALA | Three militants broke into the home of a senior police investigator in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region on Sunday and fatally shot him after binding his wife and son with tape in the next room, police said.

The attackers shot police Lt. Col. Yunus Khulatayev three times at point-blank range in his apartment in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, and then fled, police said.

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