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Bad for the Glass: No Roman Polanski Deal, But Sides Have Talked 

The Gunson testimony has been at the heart of attempts to resolve the case. Taken on a provisional basis when it appeared Gunson’s life might be in danger from illness, it touches on a supposedly broken promise by the late Judge Laurence Rittenband to limit Polanski’s sentence for a 1977 statutory rape conviction to time he served during a prison psychiatric evaluation. Only a month ago, Braun insisted that opening the sealed testimony was among his principal aims.

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“I am only interested in obtaining the Gunson transcript and obtaining a ruling on whether a California court will respect the ruling of the Polish Court,” he wrote in a February 21 email, which referred both to the testimony and to a determination in a Polish extradition hearing that Polanski should remain free.

That Braun, at least for purposes of the Monday hearing, was pushing his Gunson demand to the side lent credence to what my colleague Dominic Patten has spotted: Rumors that Polanski’s lawyer and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, though still at loggerheads in court, have been talking. Read the rest of this entry »

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Man Killed at Paris Airport Had Been Flagged for Possible Radical Ties

ORLY, FRANCE: French soldiers shot and killed a man who wrestled another soldier to the ground and tried to take her rifle Saturday at Paris’ Orly Airport. The melee forced the airport’s busy terminals to close and trapped hundreds of passengers aboard flights that had just landed.

The 39-year-old Frenchman, who authorities said had a long criminal record and was previously flagged for possible radicalism, had earlier fired birdshot at police officers during an early morning traffic stop before speeding away and heading for the airport south of Paris.

There, in the public area of its South Terminal, the man wrestled the soldier who was on foot patrol and tried to snatch away her rifle, authorities said. The French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said the patrol’s other two members opened fire. Le Drian said the soldier managed to keep hold of her weapon.

“Her two comrades thought it was necessary — and they were right — to open fire to protect her and especially to protect all the people who were around,” Le Drian said.

The shooting further rattled France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks over the past two years that have killed 235 people.

Witnesses described panicked bystanders fleeing, flights halting, traffic chaos and planes under lockdowns. French authorities, however, emphasized that security planning — reinforced across the country in the wake of repeated attacks — worked well.

The soldier was “psychologically shocked” but unhurt by the “rapid and violent” assault, said Col. Benoit Brulon, a spokesman for the military force that patrols public sites in France. No other injuries were reported.

“We’d already registered our bags when we saw a soldier pointing his gun at the attacker who was holding another soldier hostage,” said traveler Pascal Menniti, who was flying to the Dominican Republic.

Authorities said at least 3,000 people were evacuated from the airport. Hundreds of passengers also were confined for several hours aboard 13 flights that were held in landing areas, and 15 other flights were diverted to Paris’ other main airport, Charles de Gaulle, the Paris airport authority said.

A French official connected to the investigation confirmed French media reports that identified the attacker as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, born in France in 1978. The official spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the man’s details.

The attacker’s motives were unknown. After the airport attack, his father and brother were detained by police for questioning Saturday — standard operating procedure in such probes.

The antiterrorism section of the Paris prosecutor’s office immediately took over the investigation. The prosecutor’s office said the attacker had a record of robbery and drug offenses.

He did not appear in a French government database of people considered potential threats to national security. But prosecutors said he had already crossed authorities’ radar for suspected Islamic extremism. His house was among scores searched in November 2015 in the immediate aftermath of suicide bomb-and-gun attacks that killed 130 people in Paris. Those searches targeted people with suspected radical leanings. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Man Shot Dead at Paris Orly Airport After Snatching a Soldier’s Weapon & Fleeing to a Shop

  • Man snatched gun and fled into a shop at the south terminal, where he was shot
  • It happened after a police officer was shot in a northern Paris suburb
  • Witnesses recounted hearing ‘four or five’ shots, and the airport was evacuated
  • It comes at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the French capital 

A man has been shot dead at Paris Orly airport after taking a soldier’s gun and fleeing into a shop, taking aim at soldiers.

Less than two hours earlier, three police officers were shot at in a suburb in northern Paris by a gunman during a routine stop-and-search operation.

Police now believe the shooting in the northern Paris suburb of Stains, which left one officer injured, was carried out by the man who was later killed.

Today’s incidents come as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Paris, where they will later meet victims of terrorism.

A man in a Renault Clio armed with a shotgun fired at police and fled shortly before 7am, and the vehicle was found in Vitry, in the south of the city, containing a bloody t-shirt.

The same man is believed to have grabbed the soldier’s weapon at 8.30am at the airport, in the south of the French capital. Read the rest of this entry »


Le Pen Could Conceivably Win French Presidency, Politicians and Experts Say

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PARIS – With the polls narrowing and one of her main rivals embroiled in an expenses scandal, far-right leader Marine Le Pen could feasibly become French president in May, senior politicians and commentators say.

“I think Madame Le Pen could be elected.”

— Jean-Pierre Raffarin

At the headquarters of her National Front (FN) party in Nanterre, outside Paris, officials believe the same forces that led to last year’s Brexit vote in Britain and Donald Trump’s victory in November’s U.S. election could carry Le Pen to power.

Even some of her rivals concede a victory for the far-right firebrand is possible.

“I think Madame Le Pen could be elected,” former conservative Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said this month.

Another former premier, the Socialist Manuel Valls, has also warned of the “danger” of assuming that Le Pen cannot win.

Polls show that support for the anti-immigrant and anti-EU candidate has been consistent for four years now.

Since 2013, surveys have shown the blond 48-year-old will progress through the first round to reach the runoff stage in France’s two-stage presidential election.

Pollsters now note that although Le Pen is not currently forecast to win the all-important showdown on May 7, she has whittled down the projected gap between herself and her main challengers.

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The legal woes of her conservative challenger Francois Fillon have especially played into Le Pen’s hands.

When Fillon saw off pre-contest favorite Alain Juppe to clinch the right-wing nomination in late November, polls showed he would win 67 percent of the vote in the runoff to 33 percent for Le Pen.

Then in January allegations surfaced that Fillon had paid his wife hundreds of thousands of euros for parliamentary work she might not have done. Surveys now show Le Pen would score 44 percent to 56 percent for Fillon if the second round were held today.

[Read the full story here, at The Japan Times]

The pressure on 62-year-old Fillon moved up a notch Friday when prosecutors announced he will face a full judicial investigation into the claims.

A similar picture emerges when Le Pen’s projected second-round score is compared to that of Emmanuel Macron, the pro-business centrist who has moved from outsider to genuine contender in the space of a few months.

Although Macron’s performance against Le Pen has only been tested since January, the winning margin has dropped from 30 points to around 20 in a month.

The latest Ifop poll gives Macron 61.5 percent to 38.5 for the far-right standard bearer. Read the rest of this entry »


French Socialist Presidential Candidate Offers Asylum To US Climate Scientists


[VIDEO] Louvre Museum Reopens; Egypt Identifies Machete Attacker

PARIS (AP) — The Louvre Museum reopened to the public Saturday, less than 24 hours after a machete-wielding assailant shouting “Allahu akbar!” attacked French soldiers guarding the sprawling building and was shot by them.

The worldwide draw of the iconic museum in central Paris, host to thousands of artworks including the “Mona Lisa,” was on full display on a drizzly winter day as international tourists filed by armed police and soldiers patrolling outside the site, which had been closed immediately after Friday’s attack.

The attacker was shot four times after slightly injuring a soldier patrolling the nearby underground mall but his injuries on Saturday were no longer life-threatening, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

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French President Francois Hollande said there is “no doubt” the suspect’s actions were a terror attack, and he will be questioned as soon as that is possible.

An Egyptian Interior Ministry official confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday that the attacker is Egyptian-born Abdullah Reda Refaie al-Hamahmy, who is 28, not 29 as widely reported.

The official said an initial investigation in Egypt found no record of political activism, criminal activity or membership in any militant group by him. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.

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French authorities said they are not yet ready to name the suspect, but confirmed they thought he was Egyptian.

The suspect was believed to have been living in the United Arab Emirates and came to Paris on Jan. 26 on a tourist visa, prosecutor Francois Molins said. The suspect bought two military machetes at a gun store in Paris and paid 1,700 euros ($1,834) for a one-week stay at a Paris apartment in the chic 8th arrondissement, near the Champs-Elysees Avenue.

On the Twitter account of an “Abdallah El-Hamahmy,” a tweet was posted about a trip from Dubai to Paris on Jan. 26. In the profile photo, Hamahmy is seen smiling and leaning against a wall in a blue-and-white sports jacket. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Could the Louvre knife Attack Impact Upcoming French Elections?

French soldiers enforcing the Vigipirate plan, France's national security alert system, patrol in front of the Louvre museum on November 16, 2015 in Paris, three days after a series of deadly oordinated attacks claimed by Islamic State jihadists, which killed at least 129 people and left more than 350 injured on November 13. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET

 


Paris Police: Soldier Opens Fire Outside the Louvre Museum

French soldiers enforcing the Vigipirate plan, France's national security alert system, patrol in front of the Louvre museum on November 16, 2015 in Paris, three days after a series of deadly oordinated attacks claimed by Islamic State jihadists, which killed at least 129 people and left more than 350 injured on November 13. AFP PHOTO/DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP PHOTO / DOMINIQUE FAGET

French media reported on Friday that a soldier has opened fire on a man armed with a knife at a shopping centre next to the famous Louvre museum in Paris.

Reports say the soldier opened fire on the knifeman after he attacked him at the Louvre Carrousel shopping centre on Friday morning.

According to reports the attacker was shot in the leg. A security cordon has been set up and the underground Louvre Carrousel shopping centre has been evacuated.

Reports on Twitter said tourists at the museum were being moved into rooms to keep them safe. The Louvre itself has declined to comment on the situation.

Images on Twitter also appeared to show worried visitors outside the world famous museum.

“Something is going down at The  30 National Police vehicles with guns drawn,” said one tweeter.

An alarm can be heard in the background. A worried passerby can be heard saying: “I wonder if it’s a training exercise”.

France’s interior ministry confirmed on Twitter that a serious security operation was underway in the area around the Louvre.

Paris and the rest of France is on high alert for terrorism after a series of attacks in recent years. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! Old-School Satirical Paper Upends French Presidential Race

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For a small duck it packs one hell of a peck.

PARIS (AP) One-time French presidential front-runner Francois Fillon is slowly finding his dream of winning the Elysee Palace under water.

And it’s because of the revelations of one old-school, eight-page satirical newspaper with ink that comes off on your hands: “Le Canard Enchaine,” or “The Chained Duck.”

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The dirt-digging weekly’s claims that Fillon’s political clout helped secure handsomely paid jobs for his wife, Penelope, and two of their children are the just the latest scoops from the 102-year-old newspaper which is showing that traditional gumshoe reporting and the ink-and-paper format still have value in the increasingly online world.

“‘Canard’ or ‘duck’ was taken from French slang for ‘newspaper.'”

With its old-school typography, puns on every page and thick, rough paper, “Le Canard” may seem like an unlikely source of hard-nosed political journalism.

But the controversy has seriously hurt the conservative Fillon and has upended the race for France’s spring presidential election. It has pecked away at his popularity as his critics cry foul. Fillon, who was France’s prime minister from 2007 to 2012, has denied any wrongdoing.

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The paper first published the allegations against Fillon on Jan. 25 and then came out with a second report containing further accusations on Wednesday. Copies of the latest edition were hard to come by in Paris.

Financial prosecutors are investigating whether Penelope Fillon actually worked, as he claims, as her husband’s parliamentary aide or whether her job was fake, which would be an illegal use of public funds.

“Le Canard Enchaine,” available in kiosques and proudly not online, is a modern anachronism that flies in the face of claims that old-school newspapers are relics of the past.

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The weekly, costing 1.20 euros ($1.29), continues to be an influential player in the French media landscape, and a go-to for whistle-blowers — despite dwindling newspaper sales across the world. The paper, which has no advertisements, is mainly financed through newsstand sales and subscriptions.

Editor Louis-Marie Horeau recently revealed his paper’s winning journalistic methods for exposing the so-called Penelope-gate scandal. Read the rest of this entry »


‘If You’ve Got it, Flaunt It’

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Do they got it? Perhaps they do. The European parties hope for similar success in tapping anti-establishment and protectionist sentiment in elections this year.

KOBLENZ, Germany (AP) — European nationalist leaders came together Saturday in a show of strength at the start of a year of big election tests, celebrating Donald Trump’s inauguration as U.S. president and declaring themselves a realistic alternative to the continent’s governments.

Right-wing populist leaders from France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and elsewhere strode confidently into the Koblenz congress hall on the banks of the Rhine River ahead of a flag-waving escort, setting the tone for a gathering whose mood was buoyed by Trump’s swearing-in. The European parties hope for similar success in tapping anti-establishment and protectionist sentiment in elections this year.

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“I believe we are witnessing historic times,” Dutch anti-Islam leader Geert Wilders told reporters. “The world is changing. America is changing. Europe is changing. And the people start getting in charge again.”

Wilders, speaking in English, declared that “the genie will not go back into the bottle again, whether you like it or not.”

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The Netherlands will provide the next major test for populist parties’ support. Wilders’ Party of Freedom could win the largest percentage of votes in the March 15 Dutch parliamentary election, even though it is shunned by other parties and unlikely to get a share of power.

Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front, is among the top contenders in France’s April-May presidential vote. In September, Frauke Petry’s four-year-old Alternative for Germany party hopes to enter the German parliament in a national election, riding sentiment against German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming policy toward refugees. Other German parties say they won’t work with the anti-immigrant group.

Those at the Koblenz conference Saturday are part of the Europe of Nations and Freedom group in the European Parliament, which was launched in 2015. The gathering also featured Matteo Salvini of Italy’s anti-migrant Northern League and Harald Vilimsky, the general secretary of Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party, which last year narrowly failed to win the country’s presidency. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacre Bleu! Le Monde

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Sacre Bleu! Le Pen Leads New Opinion Poll 

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A new poll from Ifop-Fiducial released Tuesday shows Le Pen at first place with the backing of 26.5 percent of voters, while her moderate center-right rival Francois Fillon, of Les Republicains, would receive just over 24 percent of the vote, the poll suggested.

“He is putting in place measures I have been demanding for years.”

— Le Pen said of Trump

The new poll, which was conducted the first week of January, was based on a sample of 1,860 registered voters and has a margin of error of 1.3 percent.

The poll represents the first time Le Pen has led with voters since November, and coincides with a noticeable decline in popularity for Fillon, who was polling at roughly 28 percent in December. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacré Bleu! Move to Name Paris Street After Steve Jobs has French Leftists Freaking Out

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The local district mayor wants to call one of several new streets around the vast Halle Freyssinet high-tech startup hub the ‘Rue Steve Jobs’ in honor of America’s best-known Capitalist. 

PARIS (Reuters) – Geert De Clercq reports: A proposal to name a street after the late Apple Inc chief executive and co-founder Steve Jobs has divided the leftist city council of a Paris district.

“Steve Jobs was chosen because of his impact on the development of personal computing and because he was a real entrepreneur.”

— Spokeswoman for mayor Jerome Coumet

The local district mayor wants to call one of several new streets around the vast Halle Freyssinet high-tech startup hub the “Rue Steve Jobs” in honor of the U.S. inventor of the iPhone who died in 2011.

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“The choice of Steve Jobs is misplaced in light of the heritage he has left behind.”

— Communist local councillors

But Green and Communist local councillors in Paris’s 13th district don’t like the idea because of Apple’s social and fiscal practices.

“Steve Jobs was chosen because of his impact on the development of personal computing and because he was a real entrepreneur,” said a spokeswoman for mayor Jerome Coumet, defending the proposal.

She said other streets would be named after British computer scientist and code-breaker Alan Turing, UK mathematician and computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, US naval officer and computer programming pioneer Grace Murray Hopper and French civil engineer Eugene Freyssinet, who invented pre-stressed concrete.

Leftist councillors are not impressed however by Jobs’ reputation and heritage. Read the rest of this entry »


Montpellier Terror Attack Fears as Gunman Bursts into Retirement Home for Monks

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The suspect, who was reportedly wearing a hoodie and carrying a gun, is still believed to be at the site in Montpellier, France.

A hooded gunman man has stormed a retirement home for monks in France and killed two people, according to reports.

“A supervisor inside the building raised the alarm very discreetly…There are fears that two people have died – a man and a woman. The gunman is being hunted.”

The gunman is believed to have broken into the building in Montpellier, France, on Thursday evening.

According to unverified reports in France, the man was wearing a hoodie and carrying a gun.

He is said to have killed a man and a woman inside the home.

Those killed are thought to be a woman supervisor, and a man who was working with her.

Around 70 monks are believed to reside in the property. Read the rest of this entry »


Sacre Bleu! La Victoire de Donald Trump Envoie la Politique Française Brouiller

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The French say that things often come in threes. After Brexit, a Trump victory in the US, will Marine Le Pen win the French presidential election next May? She is certainly hoping she will be no exception to the rule.

Philip Kyle reports: “Their world is crumbling. Ours is taking shape.” It is with this tweet that MEP Florian Philippot, Marine Le Pen’s right hand man, welcomed Donald Trump’s presidential win. A few minutes earlier, Le Pen, herself, congratulated the President-elect and the “free American people”. Stunned by Trump’s historical win, the eyes of the world turned towards France.

“According to an insider, Le Pen did not believe Trump could win, nor did she believe a few months ago that the Brits would vote to leave the EU. The de-globalisation process which seems to have taken everyone by surprise, herself included, has forced all other candidates across the French political spectrum to review their campaign methods and their political discourse.”

The French say that things often come in threes. After Brexit, a Trump victory in the US, will Marine Le Pen win the French presidential election next May? She is certainly hoping she will be no exception to the rule.

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The 48-year-old far right leader has been quite discreet since the beginning of the school year. It is part of her strategy: let the conservatives and the socialists fight among themselves, sit back and watch her approval ratings soar while they do so.

“Trump’s victory was too good, however, for Le Pen to stay silent. Tweets, interviews and even an appearance on the Andrew Marr show: the leader of the National Front was keen to capitalise on the triumph of another candidate who, like her, styles himself as an “anti-elite” leader.”

Every poll has, for some months now, consistently shown that Le Pen will qualify for the second round of the presidential election. Most of them even show that she will be ahead of all other candidates after the first round. Le Pen will officially launch her campaign in February, once both the conservative and socialist primaries are over and once she knows who her main competitors are. Before then, there is no need for her to get too involved.

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“Every poll has, for some months now, consistently shown that Le Pen will qualify for the second round of the presidential election. Most of them even show that she will be ahead of all other candidates after the first round.”

Trump’s victory was too good, however, for Le Pen to stay silent. Tweets, interviews and even an appearance on the Andrew Marr show: the leader of the National Front was keen to capitalise on the triumph of another candidate who, like her, styles himself as an “anti-elite” leader.

[Read the full text here, at telegraph.uk]

According to an insider, Le Pen did not believe Trump could win, nor did she believe a few months ago that the Brits would vote to leave the EU. The de-globalisation process which seems to have taken everyone by surprise, herself included, has forced all other candidates across the French political spectrum to review their campaign methods and their political discourse.

This is particularly true of the conservative candidates who will be facing each other in the first round of the primary on Sunday. The contest seems to all come down to one question: who is best equipped to defeat Marine Le Pen next May?
Read the rest of this entry »


France Marks First Anniversary of Paris Massacre

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Paris (AFP) – France on Sunday marked the first anniversary of the Paris attacks with sombre ceremonies and painful memories for the relatives of the 130 people killed.

The day of sorrow began under grey morning skies as President Francois Hollande led commemorations at the sites where jihadist killers unleashed a bloodbath.

It ended after dark as a fleet of tiny lanterns floated eerily on a branch of the Seine, each emblazoned with a message to those whose lives had been obliterated.

Hollande’s first duty was to unveil a plaque outside the Stade de France, to commemorate Manuel Dias, 63, killed by a suicide bomber outside the national stadium as France played Germany at football that fateful evening.

Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo then unveiled plaques outside bars and restaurants in the trendy neighbourhood where gunmen sprayed bullets at people enjoying a Friday evening out.

The final ceremony took place outside the Bataclan, the revered Paris concert hall where 90 people were slain by three Islamic State attackers during a rock gig. The killers ruthlessly picked off young people lying defenceless, injured or cowering in fear.

The names of those killed at the Bataclan were read out as hundreds of people gathered in silence under rainy skies.

Rock star Sting reopened the refurbished Bataclan on Saturday night with an emotionally-charged show held amid tight security.

“We will not forget them,” the British singer told the crowd in French after a minute’s silence. Many wept during his first song, “Fragile”.

The Bataclan management said they had prevented two members of the US group Eagles of Death Metal — who were on stage when the bloodshed started — from entering the Sting concert, including lead singer Jesse Hughes.

Hughes had previously sparked outrage by suggesting that Muslim staff at the Bataclan may have cooperated with the attackers. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] John Mclaughlin with Jonas Hellborg & Billy Cobham

On French TV, January 1984


1954 Retrofuture Art from an Unexpected Source: the French Chocolatier Cantalou


Majority of Paris Attackers Entered Europe Posing as Refugees

The attackers were part of a group of 14 who plotted their way into Western Europe by riding the wave of the migrant crisis last year, according to Hungarian security officials.

By using fake Syrian passports, many of the attackers, already on European terror watch-lists, were able to slip back into Europe undetected, along with thousands of other refugees.

SAMU members and French police participate in a raid in Saint-Denis. ETIENNE LAURENT/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY Hooded police officers walked on a street in Saint-Denis Wednesday. A woman wearing an explosive suicide vest blew herself up as heavily armed police tried to storm a suburban Paris apartment where the suspected mastermind of last week's attacks was believed to be holed up, police said. PETER DEJONG/ASSOCIATED PRESS

PETER DEJONG/ASSOCIATED PRESS

One hundred and thirty people were killed in November when a group of gunmen and suicide bombers launched a wave of attacks across Paris, targeting the Bataclan concert hall, the Stade De France and several restaurants and bars. Three hundred sixty-eight people were also injured in the attacks, almost 100 of them seriously.

Some of the remaining terrorists in the group participated in the Brussels attacks earlier this year in three coordinated suicide bombings at Brussels Airport and at Maalbeek metro station killed 32 people. Read the rest of this entry »


20 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sept 2, 1996, French Astronaut Claudie Haigneré Returns Home After 16 Days on the Mir Space Station 

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Space Shuttle Almanac – spaceexp


[VIDEO] Alcohol Prohibition Was a Dress Rehearsal for the War on Drugs 

“The war on alcohol and the war on drugs were symbiotic campaigns,” says Harvard historian Lisa McGirr, author of The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. “Those two campaigns emerged together, [and] they had the same shared…logic. Many of the same individuals were involved in both campaigns.”
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Did alcohol prohibition of the 1920s ever really come to an end, or did it just metastasize into something far more destructive and difficult to abolish—what we casually refer to as “the war on drugs?” McGirr argues that our national ban on booze routed around its own repeal via the 21st Amendment. Ultimately, Prohibition transformed into a worldwide campaign against the drug trade

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The ties between drug and alcohol prohibition run deep. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was established in 1930, only three years prior to Prohibition’s repeal. The FBN employed many of the same officials as the Federal Bureau of Prohibition. And both shared institutional spaces as independent entities within the U.S. Treasury Department. “In some ways,” observes McGirr, “the war never ended.”

Prohibition-Detroit-1920-631.jpg__800x600_q85_crop Read the rest of this entry »


French Poster for the American film Noir ‘Gun Crazy’, which Premiered in France as ‘Le Démon des Armes’ today in 1950

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Above, a French promo poster for the American film noir Gun Crazy, which premiered in France as Le Démon des armes today in 1950.

Source: Mudwerks

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Sacré Bleu! Wine Floods Streets of French Town after ‘Act of Sabotage’ 

With 200,000–400,000 French expatriates, London has become France’s sixth-largest city.

A town in southern France saw its streets running red last night but this was not about revelry.

The town of Sete, near Montpellier was drenched in red wine on Tuesday night after the contents of five huge vats of wine were spilled onto the streets.

The plonk flooded into local basements, car parks, and even some people’s homes, reported the local Midi Libre newspaper.frenchman

Up to 50,000 litres of the tipple belonging to the Biron distributors were spilled, according to reports.

Emergency services were quick to the scene and had the mess cleared up in 30 minutes, the paper reported.

On Wednesday afternoon, the radical group of wine producers CRAV (Comité régional d’action viticole) claimed responsibility for the move, reported France 3.

The group has infamously carried out numerous wine-related attacks in France, irate at foreign cheap wine making its way onto the shelves of French stores and supermarkets.

French farmers' wine dumping sparks anger in Spain Read the rest of this entry »


Normandy Attack: Tomorrow’s Newspapers Today

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Source: #tomorrowspaperstoday hashtag on Twitter


[VIDEO] French Prime Minister Manuel Valls Booed at Memorial Service to Victims on Promenade des Anglais

France’s Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls was booed by a huge crowd in Nice on Monday before and after a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the deadly Bastille Day attack.

Nice residents applauded and cheered the emergency services and police, chanting “Merci, merci”.

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But there were shouts of “Murderers!” and “Resign!” as Mr Valls and two cabinet colleagues left the seafront where thousands had gathered to remember the 84 people killed on July 14 by truck driver Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel.

Following the minute’s silence, crowds sung the French national anthem.


NYT Headline Hall of Shame #truckattack #commonsensetruckcontrol

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The following day, the NYT responds to criticism and updates headline

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At Least 80 Dead, 18 Seriously Injured in Bastille Day Terror Attack in France 

Social media captures bodies of victims strewn in the street, police officers training their weapons on truck

At least 80 people were killed and 18 others were seriously injured Thursday when a terrorist drove a large truck loaded with guns and hand grenades into a crowd that had gathered for a Bastille Day fireworks display in the southern French city of Nice.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but two sources, including a U.S. counterterrorism source who collects and monitors jihadist social media, told Fox News that accounts linked to ISIS were “celebratory” and their followers were told to use the hashtag “Nice”.

The death toll was confirmed by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve early Friday morning. Earlier, French President Francois Hollande said that children were among the dead, and said his country was “under the threat of Islamic terrorism. We have to demonstrate absolute vigilance and show determination that is unfailing.”

Hollande also announced that he would extend France’s state of emergency by another three months, until Oct. 26. France has been on its highest state of alert since ISIS terrorists killed 130 people in Paris this past Nov. 13.

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French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the truck driver had been “neutralized”, or killed by police, and an investigation would confirm whether he had acted alone. The Paris prosecutor’s office announced that it was opening an anti-terrorism investigation into the attack.

Sky News and the Nice-Matin newspaper reported that the driver was a 31-year-old Nice resident of Tunisian origin. No other details of his identity were immediately avaiable. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: We Either Fight ISIS over There or ‘We Will Fight Them Here’ 

“The pictures are so heartbreaking, and it seems almost impious to comment on them.

But it strikes me — in the nineteenth century, “terrorism” was defined as the “propaganda of the deed,” meaning that you made your manifesto, you made your statement, by doing something — usually horrible, by killing people.

But those terrorists, a century and a half ago, could never have imagined how that would work in a day where the telecommunications are instant. That was just a non-official carrying an iPhone who could immediately show the world the deed.

And the other thing — the conjunction of one other horrible development — which is this terror organization that thrives, glorifies brutality. And what it does for them is the idea that you can terrorize your enemy, and you can recruit the more disturbed and sadistic people in the world who want to follow this into their own distorted promised land.

So it has two purposes, which is why it will continue. In the end, what was said ten, fifteen years ago, father 9/11: We have a choice. We have to fight them there, or we will have to fight them here. Obviously, it’s happening here.”

Read more at The Corner


BREAKING: At Least 30 70+ Dead, 100 Injured After Truck Rams into Bastille Day Crowd in Southern French City of Nice

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There are reports multiple people have been killed after a truck crashed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice.

Police and ambulances went to the scene and authorities from the local Alpes-Maritimes prefecture urged residents to stay indoors.

Former Nice mayor Christian Estrosi tweeted that “dozens” of people had been killed and photos on social media appeared to show bodies lying on the ground.

Local media called the incident a terrorist attack.

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An AFP reporter described seeing a white van driving at high speed onto the famed Promenade des Anglais as people were leaving after the fireworks display.

“We saw people hit and bits of debris flying around,” he said, adding that the incident took place near the city’s famed Hotel Negresco.

Terrified pedestrians screamed as they fled the area.

“It was absolute chaos,” the reporter said.

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A truck crashed into the crowd gathered Thursday, July 14 on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice to attend the fireworks organized by the municipality on the occasion of National Day . The Alpes-Maritimes prefecture spoke of an attack and asked residents to stay cloistered . According to the mayor and witnesses present on site , many victims are reported. Around 23 h 20 , a major security perimeter was delimited nearby, around the Place Massena. A journalist from the local Nice Matin publication says ” people are running , it’s panic . It is mounted on the Prome and drove all over the world. There the world in blood , probably full of wounded . “

Source: lemonde.fr

ABC producer David Coady was at the scene, and said he “joined throngs of people” running away from the promenade.

“Saw a truck amongst people when the screaming started. About 50m away,” he tweeted. Read the rest of this entry »


Karl Lagerfeld: ‘Paris is a Nightmare Now’

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Paris (CNN) In a post-Godard world, to imagine Paris is to imagine glittering lights by nights on the Champs-Élysées; members of the intelligentsia debating politics at Café de Flore; and chic, slender women, the picture of sophistication and insouciance, wearing the world’s most elegant labels.

“I must say, in my whole life I never saw Paris that gloomy.”

But if you ask Karl Lagerfeld, the German-born creative director of the quintessential Parisian brand Chanel, this is all a myth — and has been for a long time.
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“It was another world. There was no feeling of danger, and not even a boy of 16 years old could walk in the street. Things are changing, but I have the feeling I lived in a world that no longer exists.”

“This is not the most glamorous moment in Paris,” Lagerfeld told CNN Style presenter Derek Blasberg ahead of Chanel’s Autumn-Winter 2016 haute couture show. “Paris by night is a nightmare now. It is not a cliché anymore.

“I must say, in my whole life I never saw Paris that gloomy.”

Lagerfeld, who has been at the helm of Chanel since 1983, and who first got his start in the city working under Pierre Balmain in the 1950s, says he’s seen drastic changes since the times when Paris “looked like an old French movie.”

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“It was another world. There was no feeling of danger, and not even a boy of 16 years old could walk in the street,” he explains. “Things are changing, but I have the feeling I lived in a world that no longer exists.” Read the rest of this entry »

French Poster Art by Rene Peron for ‘Murders in the Zoo’, 1933

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Source: 


UPDATE: EgyptAir Flight from Paris to Cairo Crashes with 66 on Board

An EgyptAir flight traveling to Cairo from Paris crashed early Thursday with 66 passengers and crew members on board, Egyptian aviation officials confirmed.

Flight 804, an Airbus A320, was lost from radar at 2:30 a.m. Cairo time (8:30 p.m. EDT) when it was flying at 37,000 feet 175 miles north of the Egyptian coast., the airline said. EgyptAir later confirmed that one of the plane’s emergency devices sent a distress signal approximately two hours after it vanished.

Officials from Civil Aviation ministry said the “possibility that the plane crashed has been confirmed,” as the plane failed to land in any nearby airports.

Egyptian armed forces were searching for debris from the plane, which was carrying 56 passengers, including one child and two babies, and 10 crew. EgyptAir later confirmed the nationalities of those on board as including 15 French passengers, 30 Egyptians, one Briton, two Iraqis, one Kuwaiti, one Saudi, one Sudanese, one Chadian, one Portuguese, one Algerian and one Canadian.

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Greece sent two aircraft to join the search and rescue operation: one C-130 and one early warning aircraft, officials at the Hellenic National Defense General Staff said. They said one frigate was also heading to the area, and helicopters are on standby on the southern island of Karpathos for potential rescue or recovery operations.

“We are not ruling out any hypothesis,” French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told reporters Thursday. “We are trying to gather all the information available.” Valls later told RTL radio France was “ready” to join the search operation if Egyptian authorities requested his country’s assistance. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Casablanca’ Actress Madeleine Lebeau Dead

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The French actress is teary-eyed and among those singing “La Marseillaise” in Rick’s Cafe during a stirring, patriotic moment in the 1942 Warner Bros. classic.

Madeleine Lebeau, the luminous French actress who played Yvonne, the jilted lover of Humphrey Bogart‘s Rick Blaine who wells up during the patriotic singing of “La Marseillaise” in the immortal film Casablanca, has died. She was 92.

Lebeau, who later portrayed an actress named Madeleine in another classic, Federico Fellini‘s 8 1/2 (1963), died May 1 in Estepona, Spain after breaking her thigh bone, her stepson, documentary filmmaker and environmentalist Carlo Alberto Pinelli, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Lebeau is widely believed to be the last surviving castmember from Casablanca. Not too long before making the film, she herself had escaped Nazi-occupied France with her then-husband, actor Marcel Dalio.

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

In the 1942 Warner Bros. drama, Yvonne and Rick had a one-night stand, and when she makes another pass at him while drowning her sorrows at his nightclub, he spurns her and has the bartender take her back to her apartment. Later, she returns to the nightclub arm in arm with a German soldier.

When a group of German soldiers begin belting out “Die Wacht am Rhein,” Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) leads Rick’s house band in response with a stirring rendition of “La Marseillaise.” All the patriots in the club, including Yvonne, join in to sing the French national anthem, and they drown out the Germans in a memorable “duel.”

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Lebeau is teary-eyed in two full-screen close-ups and yells “Viva la France!” in her final, passionate line. Like her, many of the actors in the memorable scene were refugees from Europe, and they drew on real emotions.

Her husband Dalio played the croupier Emil in Casablanca after appearing in such films as Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion and The Rules of the Game. Read the rest of this entry »