This handout image obtained from French Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on November 17, 2015 shows the cover of the latest edition of the magazine which features its satirical take on the November 13, 2015 terror attack in Paris in which at least 129 people were killed, and a headline which translates as “They are armed, Fuck them, We have Champagne”.
[VIDEO] Intelligence: 72 Hours Before Paris Attacks, ISIS-Linked Social Media Account Reveals ‘God Bless You in Your Mission’Posted: November 15, 2015
FBI monitoring stream of ISIS chatter online
Catherine Herridge reports: ISIS claims of responsibility for Friday’s Paris massacre are being reviewed by US intelligence analysts Sunday morning, with a focus on the English-language version, which is delivered in American-accented English, Fox News has been told. It is now clear the plot included a rollout of ISIS propaganda, which was prepared in advance, including threats directed toward the Russian people, Rome, London and Washington DC.
Separately, Fox News has learned that four credible, ISIS-linked social media accounts began sharing messages 72 hours before the Paris attack, including images of weapons, the Eiffel tower, as well as blessings for the attackers’ mission. A military intelligence source says the social media traffic is now seen as evidence the three teams had gone operational.
The translations include “God bless you in your mission” and “Support the deployment,” as well as a reference to our “sister,” suggesting an operative, or member of the support team was a woman.
Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey has told field offices across the country to intensify surveillance on ISIS suspects, hoping to…(read more)
Source: Fox News
Emma Glanfield reports: Police are reportedly chasing a car containing four ‘heavily armed men’ who stormed through a motorway toll road as they headed towards Paris.
The town is approximately 40 miles from the centre of Paris and the incident comes as police remain on high alert following a string of deadly terror attacks across the French capital last night.
Police have also confirmed they are currently hunting a black Seat vehicle, registered abroad, which is ‘wanted in connection with the attacks’.
Two armed policemen were among the extra officers drafted in to patrol streets near the Eiffel Tower in Paris
The vehicle is described by French police has having a number plate of GUT 18053 and five-spoke alloy wheels.
— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) November 14, 2015
Earlier today it was reported that armed officers and a police helicopter were scrambled to the Bagnolet area of Paris following reports of gunfire and explosions.
Residents were reportedly told to stay indoors but local authorities later confirmed the ‘explosions’ were the result of fireworks being let off at a wedding celebration.
France remains on high alert after a string of barbaric terror attacks were carried out across the French capital, leaving at least 127 people dead. Read the rest of this entry »
PARIS — Adam Nosier and Rick Gladstone report: The Paris area reeled Friday night from a shooting rampage, explosions and mass hostage-taking that President François Hollande called an unprecedented terrorist attack on France. He closed the borders and mobilized the military in a national emergency.
“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region. There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.”
— President Francois Hollande, in a nationally televised address.
French television and news services quoted the police as saying at least 100 people had been killed at a concert hall alone, and dozens more in apparently coordinated attacks outside the country’s main sports stadium and at least five other popular locations in the city.
Witnesses on French television said the scene at the rock concert was a massacre.
An explosion near the sports stadium, which French news services said may have been a suicide bombing, came as Germany and France were playing a soccer match, forcing a hasty evacuation of Mr. Hollande. As the scope of the assaults quickly became clear, he convened an emergency cabinet meeting and announced that France was closing its borders.
“As I speak, terrorist attacks of an unprecedented scale are taking place in the Paris region,” he said in a nationally televised address. “There are several dozen dead, lots more wounded, it’s horrific.”
Mr. Hollande said that on his orders the government had “mobilized all the forces we can muster to neutralize the threats and secure all of the areas.” Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Musee de l’Homie: Paris’s ‘Museum of Mankind’ Dedicated to Human Evolution to Reopen to PublicPosted: October 16, 2015
After six years of renovations, the “Museum of Mankind” (Musee de l’Homme) in Paris will reopen its doors this week, after being inaugurated on Thursday (October 15) by French President Francois Hollande.
“Mankind hasn’t changed but the science of mankind has — we know that to understand mankind we must really grasp the biological and cultural aspects and there are plenty of questions in our society’s current events that require this double-understanding, this double-competence.”
— Evelyne Heyer, curator
Although the exterior of the art deco building, located in the famous Trocadero square overlooking the Eiffel tower, remains unchanged, inside visitors will discover 2,500 square metres of entirely renovated exhibitions, offering a new perspective on the history and evolution of mankind.
“What we wanted to do is present three questions: Who are we? What is mankind? To show in this part that mankind is part of the animal kingdom and that mankind is an interaction between biological and cultural elements, so that’s the first part. The second part is ‘Where do we come from?’ It’s the history of the evolution of our species and its expansion with a transitional period, what we call the Neolithic period, the moment where man began to domesticate nature. And the third part, it’s a bit along the lines of, ‘Where are we going?’
— Evelyne Heyer
The permanent exhibition revolves around three fundamental questions, explains curator Evelyne Heyer.
“What we wanted to do is present three questions: Who are we? What is mankind? To show in this part that mankind is part of the animal kingdom and that mankind is an interaction between biological and cultural elements, so that’s the first part. The second part is ‘Where do we come from?’ It’s the history of the evolution of our species and its expansion with a transitional period, what we call the Neolithic period, the moment where man began to domesticate nature. And the third part, it’s a bit along the lines of, ‘Where are we going?’ We focused on three questions — globalisation, the impact of mankind on our environment and our biological evolutionary future,” Heyer told Reuters Television.
“What we would like visitors to come away with for this last part of the exhibition is that the big questions faced by our society currently, about man’s adaptation to himself, are in the end questions that mankind has faced for 10,000 years. And it might be interesting to ask ourselves how humanity has resolved these issues, or not, in order to think about it or at least to tackle the solutions that we can come up with today to the erosion of biodiversity, for example, or the consequences of climate change.”
— Deputy curator Jean Pierre Vigne
The museum contains some of the largest and most reputable collections of prehistoric artefacts in the world, featuring recently acquired ethnological artefacts.
These remarkable objects are presented in chronological order — from the skull of man’s ancestor Cro-Magnon to that of French philosopher Rene Descartes — along with a gallery of 19th century busts representing human diversity in a modern way.
More than 96 million euros were invested by the French government to revamp the historic museum, which first opened its doors in 1938.
Heyer said that the methods of research into humanity have changed since then — researchers now know how important the relationship between biology and culture is in the functioning of human beings.
“Mankind hasn’t changed but the science of mankind has — we know that to understand mankind we must really grasp the biological and cultural aspects and there are plenty of questions in our society’s current events that require this double-understanding, this double-competence,” she said.
In the final part of the museum, visitors are greeted by a large Senegalese bus, a Mongolian hut and modern handmade objects, all elements that remind visitors of the impact human beings have had on their environment.
Deputy curator Jean Pierre Vigne said that visiting the museum should raise questions for visitors, including how the questions of our ancient ancestors are still relevant today. Read the rest of this entry »
Sorry, Charlie Hebdo
Je suis Charlie. French for “I am Charlie,” the phrase became a global expression of solidarity and resolve after Islamist gunmen murdered 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
“The terrorists who attacked cartoonists in Paris and in Texas hoped that murder would intimidate them—and others—into silence. As such theirs was not merely an attack on a publication; it was an attack on the foundations of liberal democracy.”
In a terrifying copycat attack Sunday in Garland, Texas, two men with assault rifles attempted to gun down people attending an event satirizing Muhammad with cartoons. A single police officer managed to shoot and kill both gunmen before they got inside the event. With some 200 people in the building, the potential for another politicized mass murder was great.
“Trumpeting the list of petition signers was no less than Glenn Greenwald, last seen lionizing Edward Snowden’s right to go public with information stolen from the National Security Agency’s efforts to track the people who committed the Paris murders and tried to do it again in Texas this week.”
On Monday authorities said one of the gunman, Elton Simpson of Phoenix, had been under surveillance for years because of interest he’d shown in joining jihadist groups overseas. He was found guilty of making false statements to the FBI, but a federal judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence that Mr. Simpson’s activities were “sufficiently ‘related’ to international terrorism.”
Against this backdrop we have the extraordinary—almost comical—irony of some of America’s bien pensant intellectuals boycotting a ceremony Tuesday by the PEN American Center to confer its annual courage award for freedom of expression on Charlie Hebdo. PEN is an association of writers, and six prominent novelists—Peter Carey,Michael Ondaatje,Francine Prose,Teju Cole,Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi—have been trying to repeal the award for Charlie Hebdo.
Against this backdrop we have the extraordinary—almost comical—irony of some of America’s bien pensant intellectuals boycotting a ceremony Tuesday by the PEN American Center to confer its annual courage award for freedom of expression on Charlie Hebdo.
Ms. Kusher said she was uncomfortable with the “forced secular view” and “cultural intolerance” represented by Charlie Hebdo, whose signature attacks were on organized religion. Read the rest of this entry »
The lawsuit charges media outlets with endangering the lives of others by deliberately ignoring security protocols
Paris (AFP) – Six people who hid in a kosher supermarket refrigerator during January’s Islamist attacks in Paris are suing French media for broadcasting their location live during the siege.
Images broadcast from the scene on January 9, when gunman Amedy Coulibaly stormed into the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket, killing four and taking others hostage, “lacked the most basic precautions” and endangered those still alive inside, said a lawyer representing the group, Patrick Klugman.
“We realised very quickly that a phrase by one of our journalists… about a hostage in the cold room was inappropriate, and was an error.”
— Herve Beroud, the station’s director of information
Klugman singled out French 24-hour news channel BFMTV, which revealed live on air that the group — including a three-year-old child and a one-month-old baby — was hiding from Coulibaly in the cold room, where they were taken by one of the supermarket’s employees.
“The working methods of media in real time in this type of situation were tantamount to goading someone to commit a crime.”
— The group’s lawyer, Patrick Klugman
“The working methods of media in real time in this type of situation were tantamount to goading someone to commit a crime,” Klugman told AFP Thursday, also roundly criticising coverage by other outlets of security forces movements during the standoff.
The lives of those hiding “could have been at risk if Coulibaly had been aware in real time what BFMTV was broadcasting,” Klugman said, adding that the jihadist was following the coverage of his raid on different channels and had been in contact with BFMTV journalists. Read the rest of this entry »
Manuel Valls argues that the accusation of Islamophobia is often used as a weapon by Islamism’s apologists
Jeffrey Goldberg writes: The prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, has emerged over the past tumultuous week as one of the West’s most vocal foes of Islamism, though he’s actually been talking about the threat it poses for a long while.
“Anti-Muslim feeling appears to be more widespread than anti-Jewish feeling across much of France, but anti-Jewish feeling has been expressed recently (and not-so-recently) with far more lethality, and mainly by Muslims.”
During the course of an interview conducted before the Charlie Hebdo attacks, he told me—he went out of his way to tell me, in fact—that he refuses to use the term ‘Islamophobia’ to describe the phenomenon of anti-Muslim prejudice, because, he says, the accusation of Islamophobia is often used as a weapon by Islamism’s apologists to silence their critics.
Most of my conversation with Valls was focused on the fragile state of French Jewry—here is my post on his comments, which included the now-widely circulated statement that, “if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France”—and I didn’t realize the importance of his comment about Islamophobia until I re-read the transcript of our interview.
“It is very important to make clear to people that Islam has nothing to do with ISIS,” Valls told me. “There is a prejudice in society about this, but on the other hand, I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is used to silence people.”
“It is very important to make clear to people that Islam has nothing to do with ISIS. There is a prejudice in society about this, but on the other hand, I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology.”
Valls was not denying the existence of anti-Muslim sentiment, which is strong across much of France. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdoattack, miscreants have shot at Muslim community buildings, and various repulsive threats against individual Muslims have been cataloged. President Francois Hollande, who said Thursday that Muslims are the “first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism, intolerance,” might be overstating the primacy of anti-Muslim prejudice in the current hierarchy of French bigotries—after all, Hollande just found it necessary to deploy his army to defend Jewish schools from Muslim terrorists, not Muslim schools from Jewish terrorists—but anti-Muslim bigotry is a salient and seemingly permanent feature of life in France. Or to contextualize it differently: Anti-Muslim feeling appears to be more widespread than anti-Jewish feeling across much of France, but anti-Jewish feeling has been expressed recently (and not-so-recently) with far more lethality, and mainly by Muslims.
“Can hostility to the various related ideologies of Islamism—ideologies rooted in a particular reading of Muslim texts, theology, and history—be properly defined as Islamophobic?”
It appears as if Valls came to his view on the illegitimacy of ‘Islamophobia’ after being influenced by a number of people, including and especially the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner and the writer (and fatwa target) Salman Rushdie. Rushdie, along with a group of mainly Muslim writers, attacked the use of the term ‘Islamophobia’ several years ago in an open letter: “We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of ‘Islamophobia’, a wretched concept that confuses criticism of Islam as a religion and stigmatization of those who believe in it.”
“We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of ‘Islamophobia’, a wretched concept that confuses criticism of Islam as a religion and stigmatization of those who believe in it.”
Bruckner argued that use of the word ‘Islamophobia’ was designed to deflect attention away from the goals of Islamists: “[I]t denies the reality of an Islamic offensive in Europe all the better to justify it; it attacks secularism by equating it with fundamentalism. Above all, however, it wants to silence all those Muslims who question the Koran, who demand equality of the sexes, who claim the right to renounce religion, and who want to practice their faith freely and without submitting to the dictates of the bearded and doctrinaire.”
It is difficult to construct a single term that captures the variegated expressions of a broad prejudice. ‘Anti-Semitism,’ of course, is a terribly flawed term to describe anti-Jewish thought or behavior, and not only because it was invented by an actual hater of Jews, Wilhelm Marr, to prettify the base hatred to which he subscribed. Read the rest of this entry »
— i100 (@thei100) January 15, 2015
At least three people were killed in an anti-terror raid in Belgium Thursday that one official confirmed was “jihadist related,” and a man suspected of selling guns used in last week’s terror attacks in France was being detained in another part of the country, according to multiple reports.
The deadly raid was in Verviers, in eastern Belgium, according to the Telegraph. It was not immediately clear if the dead were terror suspects or if any authorities had been killed. Federal prosecutors were quoted as saying there had been a police operation near the center of Verviers.
Explosions and gunfire were apparently heard near the station, according to Belgium’s public broadcaster RTBF. The Belga news agency said there were several casualties and police activity was continuing.
“An operation is under way,” a source in the mayor’s office told AFP without giving further details.
Another official told the agency it was “jihadist-related.” Read the rest of this entry »
Video obtained by Reuters shows Cherif and Said Kouachi firing at police after their attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
[VIDEO] Predictably, Jon Stewart Adorably Trashes Obama for Paris Rally Absence, for Easy, Harmless Laughs, Wears BeretPosted: January 12, 2015
Jon Stewart went after President Obama for his absence at the Paris unity rally yesterday, asking bewilderedly, “Couldn’t Obama have at least sent a friend?”
The ex-pat artist, who has lived in France for 25 years, talks to the Observer about his new cartoon of Muhammed
Celia Farber writes: Robert Crumb is considered by many to be the single best cartoonist America has ever produced. The creator of counter culture icons like Fritz the Cat, the Keep On Truckin guy and Mr Natural, Mr. Crumb was inducted into the comic book Hall of Fame in 1991, the same year he moved his family to France, where he has resided ever since. Writer Celia Farber reached him at his home on Friday, January 9, 2015, to talk about the massacre of cartoonists and others in Paris this week.
Celia Farber: Have journalists been calling you today to talk about the assassinations at Charlie Hebdo? Are you willing to talk about it?
Robert Crumb: Liberation wanted me to draw a cartoon, so I did this cartoon for Liberation about it. So far, you are the first American journalist that’s asked me to talk about it. I’ll talk about it, yeah.
No other journalists have called you? Really?
No, you’re the only one. You don’t have journalists over there anymore, what they have is public relations people. That’s what they have over in America now. Two-hundred and fifty thousand people in public relations. And a dwindling number of actual reporters and journalists.
We don’t have a context for this tradition here, merciless, political satire. One thing I keep noticing is commentators here are pointing out that the cartoons were very offensive and insulting. It’s as if we don’t understand that was by design. Very intentionally offensive, and very clear about why that couldn’t be compromised. That’s the part we don’t get, as Americans. It’s like, “Why did they have to be so mean?”
It’s a French thing, yeah, and they value that very highly here, which is why there’s like a huge amount of sympathy for the killing of those guys, you know, huge demonstrations and crowds in Paris – people holding up signs that say, “Je suis Charlie.” Even here in the village where I live, we had a demonstration yesterday out in front of the town hall. About 30 people showed up and held up “Je suis Charlie” signs.
Were you there?
Yeah, I went to it, sure. Since I’m the village cartoonist, I had to go. [Laughs.]
You didn’t know any of those guys?
I knew Wolinsky a little. I had some conversations with him over the last 20 years, but I didn’t know him real well. I didn’t know any of them real well. I didn’t become part of the circle of cartoonists in France, you know. Probably because I still can’t speak the fucking language worth a damn.
I think they were well aware they could and very likely would get killed.
The editor knew. He knew. The office got fire bombed in 2011. The government started, like, you know, offering them protection, and when he said that thing about, you know, “I’d rather die standing than live on my knees,” he said, “You know, I’m not married, I don’t have credit cards, I don’t drive a car. I stay very …I keep everything very simple…I don’t want to have these connections, because I could go at any time.” He knew that.
These guys were not trying not to offend, and that’s what an American media-conditioned mind cannot understand. The idea that yes, you offend those who abuse power.
[Laughs.] No, they can’t.
Robert Crumb and his wife Aline attend a party launching a T-shirt line incorporating an original R. Crumb design by designer Stella McCartney on March 17, 2005 in London. (Photo by David Westing/Getty Images)
It’s not the faith that is being insulted. It’s the extremism, the psychosis. The totalitarian impulse.
Aline [Mr. Crumb’s wife is the cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb] saw something on the internet…All the big newspapers and magazines in America had all agreed, mutually agreed, not to print those offensive cartoons that were in that Charlie Hebdo magazine. They all agreed that they were not going to print those, because they were too insulting to the Prophet. Charlie Hebdo, it didn’t have a big circulation. A lot of French people said, “Yes, it was tasteless, but I defend their right to freedom of speech.” Yeah, it was tasteless, that’s what they say. And perhaps it was. I’m not going to make a career out of baiting some fucking religious fanatics, you know, by insulting their prophet. I wouldn’t do that. That seems crazy. But then, after they got killed, I just had to draw that cartoon, you know, showing the Prophet. The cartoon I drew shows me, myself, holding up a cartoon that I’ve just drawn. A crude drawing of an ass that’s labeled “The Hairy Ass of Muhammed.” [Laughs.]
You did what?!
Yeah, I sent that to Liberation, so we’ll see what happens. You know, that’s the most I’ve stuck my neck out for a long time…
Did you discuss that with Aline?
I showed it to her, and she said, “Oh, my God, we’re going to have to go into hiding.” [Laughs.] So, then Aline had this idea for another cartoon, which we also sent to Liberation, a collaboration, that’s showing her looking at the drawing saying, “Oh, my God, they’re going to come after us! This is terrible…I want to live to see my grandchildren!” And then she has me saying, “Well, it’s not that bad. And, besides, they’ve killed enough cartoonists, maybe they’ve gotten it out of their system.”
So you submitted both?
Yeah. We sent it to them this morning. Scanned it, and emailed it. It’s going to run in Liberation tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Mahomet en une du Charlie Hebdo de mercredi’: In Controversial New Cover The Big Mo Himself Holds Sign Saying ‘I Am Charlie’Posted: January 12, 2015
Translation from French to English:
The next issue of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the first since the terrorist attack that decimated the… writing is completed.
Charlie Hebdo will be well on the newsstands on Wednesday 14th January. As every week. The journalists of the satirical weekly cordoned off around 21:30 Monday their first edition since the attack that killed 12 people, Wednesday, January 7 in Paris. In these exceptional circumstances, the number ( 1178 ) will be drawn 3 million copies.
“All Is Forgiven. I Am Charlie”
Hosted in the premises of Liberation, writing resumed work on Friday with the aim of showing that Charlie Hebdo is not dead. The design of a designed by Luz is the Prophet Mohammed holding a sign “I’m Charlie.” Associated with the drawing, comments: “All is forgiven”.
Note: this is computer-translated from the original French into English, some of the phrasing is irregular, and a few words appear to be missing. I offer it as-is, I think it’s mostly self-evident.
Bravo Charlie Hebdo!
— Jeremy Stahl (@JeremyStahl) January 11, 2015
Arsonists attack German paper that published French cartoons
FRANKFURT— Monica Houston-Waesch reports: Police in the German city of Hamburg have detained two suspects for attempted arson after a small fire was started in the building of a local newspaper in the early hours of Sunday, a police spokeswoman said.
Like many others, the Hamburger Morgenpost had reprinted front pages of French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, after 12 people were shot dead at the magazine’s editorial office in Paris last week.
It isn’t yet known whether there is a connection between the two acts, police spokeswoman Karina Sadowsky said, adding that the state criminal police’s national security division is investigating the matter. Read the rest of this entry »
Police have been hunting for Ms. Boumeddiene since her partner, Amedy Coulibaly, was identified as the alleged shooter of a policewoman on Thursday and stormed a Parisian kosher grocery on Friday, leaving four hostages dead.
PARIS — Noémie Bisserbe, Daniel Michaels and Stacy Meichtry reporting: French authorities believe Hayat Boumeddiene, the girlfriend of one of the gunmen who was killed during a police raid at a kosher store on Friday, left France Jan. 2 and has reached Syria, people familiar with the matter said Saturday.
“The French Justice Ministry on Friday issued a wanted notice for Ms. Boumeddiene and Mr. Coulibaly in connection with the murder of a policewoman near Paris on Thursday and the attack Wednesday on Charlie Hebdo.”
Police have been hunting for Ms. Boumeddiene since her partner, Amedy Coulibaly, was identified as the alleged shooter of a policewoman on Thursday and stormed a Parisian kosher grocery on Friday, leaving four hostages dead.
French prosecutors have described Ms. Boumeddiene as a dangerous individual who has trained to use firearms.
Ms. Boumeddiene left France before the French capital was plunged into a three-day spree of violence that began with the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine Wednesday, the people said.
She crossed into Syria from Turkey, the people said.
“The wanted notice included a photograph of Ms. Boumeddiene with her face and hair exposed but other images purported to be of her, reprinted widely in French media, show a woman clad from head to toe in a black burqa. In some of the images, shown alongside photos of Mr. Coulibaly apparently at the same forested location, the woman is shown firing a weapon resembling a crossbow.”
A senior Turkish official declined to comment on whether Ms. Boumeddiene transited through Turkey recently.
It isn’t clear whether Ms. Boumeddiene went to Syria to join one of the radical Islamist groups fighting in the bloody civil war. Read the rest of this entry »
As reporters try to exercise their freedom of speech, they’re being killed in record numbers by Islamic jihadists and brutal regimes.
John Waage writes: The terrorist attack in Paris is a bleak reminder that Western values are under assault, with journalists being front and center in that battle.
As reporters try to exercise their freedom of speech, they’re being killed in record numbers by Islamic jihadists and brutal regimes.
“It’s a fact that it’s a visual medium and it can grab you instantly. It’s in a lot of ways more effective than the written word; and while this attack is incredibly high profile and incredibly terrible, there are cartoonists that are attacked every year.”
— Cartoonist Mark Fiore
At Notre Dame in Paris, the bells toll, and around the world, demonstrations are taking place in support of the journalists murdered by Islamic terrorists at Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper that often poked fun at Islam.
From Moscow to San Francisco, signs read “Je Suis, Charlie” (“I Am Charlie”).
“The Soviet Union under Stalin or the Nazis under Hitler or the Stasi in East Germany – what do they control? They control information. And who do they try to eliminate? Journalists or people who speak the truth.”
In Washington, journalist Stephane Raynud De Fitte is stunned. He was in the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris just a day before the shooting.
“Just ordinary heroes fighting for liberty of the press. I’m really sad first, angry–really angry as well.”
— Washington journalist Stephane Raynud De Fitte
The terrorist attack in France, as well as the gruesome beheadings of journalists in Syria and other Muslim hotbeds is having a chilling effect on the profession.
The BBC reported in August that 69 journalists had been killed in Syria alone in just two years, although many of them died in battle.
The threat is especially great for cartoonists. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Urgent: Hiring 6 New Cartoonists’: Cover of Next Week’s Charlie Hebdo, Published Next Week by Remaining StaffPosted: January 9, 2015
The cover of next week’s Charlie Hebdo, published next week by remaining staff. “Urgent: hiring 6 new cartoonists” pic.twitter.com/4FmgqJeadW
— Pierre Briançon (@pierrebri) January 9, 2015
4:06 GMT – Charlie Hebdo staff – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited the headquarters of France’s Liberation newspaper Friday to “support the Charlie Hebdo journalists” who survived the attack and are being put up by the left-leaning daily.
Staff at the publication have said next week’s edition will go ahead, with a print run of one million copies, compared with its usual 60,000 a week.
14:06 GMT – Media warning – French media regulators CSA have urged TV and radio broadcasters to “act with the utmost discernment” to ensure the security of their teams and to not interfere with the investigation following the Charlie Hebdo attack and latest hostage episode.
14:05 GMT – Witnesses escape – Some witnesses to the shootings at the kosher grocery targeted by a hostage-taker in Paris’s Porte de Vincennes have managed to escape, a source close to the investigations tells AFP.
The hostage-taker burst into the mini-supermarket at around 13:00pm local time armed with two machine guns. He opened fire, the source adds, killing “at least two” and taking “at least five people hostage”.
14:05 GMT – Coulibaly – The man holding hostages in Vincennes knew at least one of the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a source tells AFP.
Amedy Coulibaly, 32, was seen with Charlie Hebdo suspect Cherif Kouachi in 2010 during an investigation into an attempted prison break in France. Coulibaly was convicted for his role and was well-known to anti-terrorist police.
14:05 GMT – PARIS HOSTAGE-TAKER ‘KNEW’ CHARLIE HEBDO KILLER: SOURCE
13:48 GMT – Elysee – New crisis talks are to be held at the French Elysee presidential palace at 15:15pm in relation to the hostage-taking at Porte de Vincennes.
13:33 GMT – Elite troops – Around 20 armed police, apparently elite troops, are positioned behind shields below the shop where the hostages are being held, says AFP’s Stephane Jourdin. According to a police source the “hostage taker is still in place”.
13:24 GMT – POLICE RELEASE PHOTOS OF SUSPECTS
Police have released photos of a man and a woman wanted in connection with the fatal shooting Thursday at Montrouge.
The pair, named as Amedy Coulibaly, 32, and Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, are “likely armed and dangerous”, police say. Read the rest of this entry »
French Police Launch Operation Northeast of Paris
French police faced off with gunmen on two fronts Friday, as the suspects behind the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo holed up with a hostage in a printing facility north of Paris and prosecutors said another gunman took captives in a kosher grocery store on the eastern edge of the capital.
PARIS—Noémie Bisserbe, William Horobin and Jason Chow reporting: French police faced off with gunmen on two fronts Friday, as the suspects behind the attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo holed up with a hostage in a printing facility north of Paris and prosecutors said another gunman took captives in a kosher grocery store on the eastern edge of the capital.
“An operation is currently under way near Dammartin-en-Goële that is mobilizing all the forces in the area.”
— French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, in a short televised address
The incidents escalated a three-day spree of violence in France and raised fears that officials are dealing with a broader militant network. Police believe the gunman in the kosher store is connected to the brothers who allegedly carried out the shooting at the magazine.
The same man is also suspected of killing a policewoman near Paris on Thursday. He is linked to the same Paris-based jihadist recruitment ring that one of the magazine-shooting suspects was convicted of being a member of, a police officer familiar with the matter said.
Police were swarming an industrial area near a town not far from the Charles de Gaulle airport where the Charlie Hebdo suspects are believed to be holed up, as helicopters loomed low overhead.
“An operation is currently under way near Dammartin-en-Goële that is mobilizing all the forces in the area,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a short televised address.
Tensions soared Friday when two gunmen believed to be the suspected shooters seized a Peugeot car in a forest area north of Dammartin-en-Goële. Thousands of policemen had been combing that area all night after witnesses had alerted authorities about the suspects’ possible presence in Villers-Cotterêts.
The gunmen drove south toward Paris before clashing with police forces when crossing through Dammartin-en-Goële, according to a police official. Read the rest of this entry »
Chris Morris reports on from Dammartin-en-Goele where police have surrounded the warehouse
French police have surrounded a building in a northern town where two Islamists suspected of the Charlie Hebdo massacre have taken a hostage.
Holed up in a small printing business in Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) from Paris, the gunmen reportedly said they were prepared to die.
Shots were fired during a high-speed car chase earlier on Friday, the third day of the manhunt for the attackers.
Twelve people were shot dead and 11 injured in Wednesday’s attack.
The suspects, two brothers linked by intelligence officials to militant groups, shouted Islamist slogans during the shooting and then fled Paris in a hijacked car, heading north.
It appears that on Friday they hijacked another car in the town of Montagny-Sainte-Felicite before travelling on to Dammartin.
The car’s owner recognised them as brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, the key suspects.
In a televised statement Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve confirmed the men being sought on Friday were those wanted for the Charlie Hebdo attack and said they would be “neutralised”.
In another development, a police source said there was a connection between the Charlie Hebdo attack and the shooting of a policewoman in Paris on Thursday.
The suspects have been surrounded in a small printing business named CTD, a source close to the investigation told AFP news agency.
Officials from the town council say pupils from three schools are being evacuated to a nearby gymnasium, where they will be reunited with their parents.
An interior ministry official said there had been no deaths or injuries on Friday, as reported by some media.
Christelle Alleume, who works near CTD in Dammartin, said a round of gunfire had interrupted her morning coffee break.
“We heard shots and we returned very fast because everyone was afraid,” she told French broadcaster iTele. “We had orders to turn off the lights and not approach the windows.”
People in the area say police helicopters began arriving around 08:45 (07:45 GMT) followed by convoys of armed officers. Sharpshooters could be seen taking up position on rooftops.
David Harsanyi writes: On September 9, 2012, Egyptian demonstrators in Cairo scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy and pulled down the American flag, threatening the lives of those inside to protest a film they claimed was insulting to the prophet Mohammad. Reacting to this attack on our sovereignty and the lives of our citizens, the administration acted in the most un-American way imaginable, sending out this preposterous message:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.
The producer of this pointlessly inflammatory video was well within his rights to mock any religion he chose however he pleased. So the statement irresponsibly perpetuates a false notion about how free speech works around here. Neither The Embassy of the United States in Cairo nor the president of United States has the power to apologize for your views on religion.
That’s the most obvious problem. But the gratuitous groveling we do to allay the sensitivities of violence-prone Muslims (because who else are we attempting to placate?) has become a cringe-worthy aspect of American policy long before Barack Obama ever showed up. When the Bush administration, in the middle of the Danish carton controversy, claimed that “Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images, as anti-Christian images or any other religious belief,” it was equally wrong. As far as the state goes, they’re all “acceptable.”
But only one of those can put you on kill lists.
After the deadly terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, France, it’s worth remembering that there is no amount of conciliating rhetoric that will stop attacks on our liberal values – even undermining them. Which is something we’ve done.
Authorities earlier had identified the three men as Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, both French and in their early 30s, and Hamyd Mourad, 18, whose nationality wasn’t immediately clear.
“They want to scare French citizens and prohibit any criticism of religion, so here we are to remind them that religion can be freely criticized.”
— Sasha Reingewirtz, 28, president of the Jewish Students Union
One of the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss the investigation, told The Associated Press that the men were linked to a Yemeni terrorist network. Cherif Kouachi was convicted in 2008 of terrorism charges for helping funnel fighters to Iraq’s insurgency and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Twelve people were killed in the attack by gunmen, armed with AK-47s, who attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a publication that has enraged Muslims for publishing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
On their way in, they killed a maintenance worker, then stormed into an editorial meeting, where they killed eight journalists.
A source familiar with the investigation told NBC News that the men targeted those magazine employees who had created or published cartoons showing Muhammad — asking for their victims by name. They executed editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier, popularly known as Charb; Bernard Maris, a Bank of France economist who was a columnist for the magazine; and three cartoonists. Read the rest of this entry »
In Paris thousands took to the streets to protest the attacks, holding pens in the air in tribute to the slain journalists and holding signs saying “Not Afraid” or “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”), in solidarity
Scott Roxborough reports: “Very little seems funny today,” said Ian Hislop, the editor of British satire magazine Private Eye, commenting on the brutal attack on his French colleges at Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 people dead. “I am appalled and shocked by this horrific attack – a murderous attack on free speech in the heart of Europe.”
His comments were echoed by satirists and cartoonists from across Europe and the world in response to the shootings, the most deadly terrorist attack in Europe since the July 7, 2005 bombings in London.
Shortly after news of the attack broke, Dutch cartoonist Ruben L. Oppenheimer tweeted his sketch of plane flying into two upright pencils, similar to the visual of the Twin Towers.
Cannes President Pierre Lescure and past president Gilles Jacob retweeted the sketch, one of dozens by prominent cartoonists posted in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo and with the dead, who included cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Bernard Verlhac and Jean Cabut and magazine editor Bernard Maris. The French satirical magazine had been the target of a firebomb attack in 2011 after it reprinted controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
One of the most retweeted cartoons was from Australia’s David Pope, which shows a dead cartoonist in a pool of blood. Above him, a masked man holding a smoking machine gun says “he drew first.”
In Paris thousands took to the streets to protest the attacks, holding pens in the air in tribute to the slain journalists and holding signs saying “Not Afraid” or “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”), in solidarity. The Twitter tag #JesuisCharlie quickly went viral. Similar demonstrations were held in cities across Europe. The Notre Dame church in Paris announced it will ring its bells at noon Thursday – a very rare occurence – to mark a minute of silence to be observed at schools and government buildings throughout France.
French actress Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Colour) attended the rally in Paris’ Republique square, posting a photo to her Instagram account of the demonstration, as did actress Charlotte Le Bon (Yves Saint Laurent). Read the rest of this entry »
Europe Correspondent Nick Miller says there are a mix of emotions on the streets of Paris as thousands gather in solidarity with those killed.
— Jillian Melchior (@JillianKayM) January 7, 2015
‘We stand with Charlie Hebdo by censoring their work and kowtowing to their killers.” @NYDailyNews
— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) January 7, 2015
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) January 7, 2015
I’m a huge fan of writer/director Luc Besson, and confess to having a soft spot for even slightly bad French movies. A wave of development and marketing innovations emerging from the film industry in France are a welcome, if unlikely sight. Who knew? It seemed that the once-epic, influential era of European cinema had seen its best days, with an uncertain future. Moral of story: Never underestimate the French.
PARIS —For Variety, Elsa Keslassy reports: With a record 41 French pics playing at Toronto, Gallic movies will have the largest presence among foreign-language films at the fest. Meanwhile, Luc Besson’s blockbuster “Lucy” is sure to boost this year’s French films’ export figures, having grossed $218 million worldwide so far. But in reality, French-lingo movies are struggling to access theater screens, pushing local sales agents to seize different and non-traditional opportunities.
This certainly has been the case at recent movie markets, where sales agents are closing more and more deals with select digital platforms that are opening up to European arthouse fare.
“There seems to be an increased appetite for day-and-date content with more and more actors using this method as a way of getting foreign films to market at minimal risk.”
— Marie-Laure Montironi
And while all-rights deals are proving harder to clinch, French movies are becoming hot material for foreign-language remakes in markets with strong local film industries. C’est la vie.
[Also see – WonderCon 2014: Luc Besson’s “Lucy” Panel]
“Pitched as a Gallic twist on “Project X,” “Babysitting,” sold by Other Angle, is yet another high-concept French comedy that was a hit in France and has garnered remake interests.”
“Foreign-language remakes are getting more popular in markets like South Korea, India, Argentina and Brazil, which are dominated by local films and Hollywood movies, and where as a result, non-English-language films have trouble reaching audiences,” says Yohann Comte, deputy head of sales at Gaumont, which has five movies playing at Toronto, including “The Connection” with Jean Dujardin and Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s “Samba.” Read the rest of this entry »
For City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple writes: The French newspaper, Libération, which began as a Maoist publication, waxed indignant recently about Chinese police working alongside French cops in Paris. The article began by reminding readers about a 1974 film, The Chinese in Paris, in which Mao’s army occupied the city, and the army commander, Pou-Yen, set up his headquarters in the Galeries Lafayette. What, asks Libération, are these policemen, who in their own country act as enforcers of a totalitarian dictatorship, doing in the pays des droits de l’homme—“the country of the rights of man,” as the French, with more patriotism than historical accuracy, sometimes call their homeland?
[Check out Dalrymple’s book: “Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses” at Amazon.com]
About 1.5 million Chinese tourists visit Paris each year. The French government hopes to double or triple that number soon. For the moment, at least, most of the tourists pay with cash, which makes them inviting targets for robbers. About 120 bags are snatched daily at the pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre, many—if not most—from Chinese. And the Louvre is only one place they visit. Read the rest of this entry »
As the young and entrepreneurial flee, the country struggles to compete and pay for its massive welfare state.
For City Journal, Pascal Bruckner writes: Not long ago, I attended a colloquium of French scientists and philosophers in Corsica, France, called “How to Think About the Future.” With few exceptions, the astrophysicists, economists, physicians, and social theorists on hand offered dark visions of tomorrow. A new financial crisis, water and grain shortages, endless war, a general collapse of ecosystems—we were spared no catastrophic scenario.
A month earlier, as it happened, I had been invited by the environmentalist think tank Breakthrough to San Francisco, where I reflected with a group of thinkers on the Schumpeterian economic idea of “creative destruction” and its application to energy production.
“…dozens of books are published in France affecting the charm of despair. The French don’t like themselves any longer—they’re one of the world’s most depressed populations…”
My experience there was quite different. Three days of vigorous and sometimes tense debates followed among advocates favoring, respectively, nuclear power, shale gas,and renewable energy sources. Defenders of threatened species had their say, too, but no one doubted in the slightest that we had a future, even if its contours remained unclear.
“…Our beloved country, in other words, has been losing not only its dynamic and intelligent young people but also older people with some money. I’m not sure that this social model can work over the long term.”
I recall an observation that Michael Schellenberger, Breakthrough’s president, made in the proceedings: “The United States’ greatest hope at present lies in shale gas and in the 11 million illegal immigrants who will soon become legal, 11 million brains that will stimulate and renew our country.” Such a comment, whatever one’s views on the specific policies that it implied, exhibited a hopefulness completely missing in Corsica—and hard to find in
today’s France, which has outlawed not only the development but even the exploration of possible reserves of natural and shale gas, and which sees every stranger on its soil as a potential enemy. France has become a defeatist nation.
A striking indicator of this attitude is the massive emigration that the country has witnessed over the last decade, with nearly 2 million French citizens choosing to leave their country and take their chances in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the United States, and other locales. The last such collective exodus from France came during the French Revolution, when a large part of the aristocracy left to await (futilely) the king’s return. About a century earlier, almost 2 million Huguenots fled the country, frightened by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which had put Protestants on an equal legal footing with Catholics. Today’s migration isn’t politically or religiously motivated, however; it’s economic.
[Be a hero and check out Pascal Bruckner’s book “The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism“ at Amazon, and other books at Pascal Bruckner’s Amazon Author page]
Robert Wilde reports: On Monday, four members of an anti-fracking group wound up in jail for using bicycle locks and glue to fasten themselves to gas pumps at a petrol station in Great Lever, England. The group sacrificed themselves in order to protest the hydraulic fracking activities of Total, a French petroleum company.
But, to their embarrassment, the group sacrificed themselves to the wrong petrol station, which was no longer owned by Total. The petrol station was owned by Certas Energy, who neglected to take down the signs after buying the station.
Amazing series of photographs. Here’s just a few…
Riding a five-ton elephant, whom she called ‘my brother’, chilling with a cheetah or hugging a giant bullfrog as if it were a Teddy bear. The childhood of a French girl Tippi Degre sounds more like a newer version of Mowgli, rather than something real.
A white child, she was born in Namibia to French wildlife photographer parents, and grew up in Africa.