PARIS — French yellow vest protesters set fires Saturday along a march through Paris to drive home their message to a government they believe is ignoring the poor: that rebuilding the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral isn’t the only problem France needs to solve.
Like the high-visibility vests the protesters wear, the scattered small fires in Paris appeared to be a collective plea to French President Emmanuel Macron’s government to “look at me — I need help too!”
Police fired water cannon and sprayed tear gas to try to control radical elements rampaging on the margins of the largely peaceful march, one of several actions around Paris and other French cities.
The protests marked the 23rd straight weekend of yellow vest actions against Macron’s centrist government, which they see as favoring the wealthy and big business. Protesters view themselves as standing up for beleaguered French workers , students and retirees who have been battered by high unemployment, high taxes and shrinking purchasing power.
But violence and divisions have marred the movement.
Associated Press reporters saw a car, motorbikes and barricades set ablaze around the Place de la Republique plaza in eastern Paris. The smell of tear gas mixed with the smoke, choking the air.
Paris firefighters — who struggled earlier this week to prevent the 12th-century Notre Dame from collapsing — quickly responded to extinguish the flames at Saturday’s protest. Read the rest of this entry »
Government by unelected experts isn’t all that different from the ‘royal prerogative’ of 17th-century England, argues constitutional scholar Philip Hamburger.
Like the blind men in the fable who try to describe an elephant by feeling different parts of its body, they’re not perceiving the whole problem: the enormous rogue beast known as the administrative state.
Sometimes called the regulatory state or the deep state, it is a government within the government, run by the president and the dozens of federal agencies that assume powers once claimed only by kings. In place of royal decrees, they issue rules and send out “guidance” letters like the one from an Education Department official in 2011 that stripped college students of due process when accused of sexual misconduct.
Unelected bureaucrats not only write their own laws, they also interpret these laws and enforce them in their own courts with their own judges. All this is in blatant violation of the Constitution, says Mr. Hamburger, 60, a constitutional scholar and winner of the Manhattan Institute’s Hayek Prize last year for his scholarly 2014 book, “Is Administrative Law Unlawful?” (Spoiler alert: Yes.)
“Essentially, much of the Bill of Rights has been gutted,” he says, sitting in his office at Columbia Law School. “The government can choose to proceed against you in a trial in court with constitutional processes, or it can use an administrative proceeding where you don’t have the right to be heard by a real judge or a jury and you don’t have the full due process of law. Our fundamental procedural freedoms, which once were guarantees, have become mere options.”
In volume and complexity, the edicts from federal agencies exceed the laws passed by Congress by orders of magnitude. “The administrative state has become the government’s predominant mode of contact with citizens,” Mr. Hamburger says. “Ultimately this is not about the politics of left or right. Unlawful government power should worry everybody.”
Defenders of agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Environmental Protection Agency often describe them as the only practical way to regulate today’s complex world. The Founding Fathers, they argue, could not have imagined the challenges that face a large and technologically advanced society, so Congress and the judiciary have wisely delegated their duties by giving new powers to experts in executive-branch agencies.
Mr. Hamburger doesn’t buy it. In his view, not only is such delegation unconstitutional, it’s nothing new. The founders, far from being naive about the need for expert guidance, limited executive powers precisely because of the abuses of 17th-century kings like James I. Read the rest of this entry »
A gunman has shot two police officers dead before being killed himself in an attack in the Champs-Elysees shopping district, Paris police say.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told reporters the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin D Roosevelt metro stop on Thursday night (local time) at the centre of the avenue, which is popular with tourists.
One police officer was killed on the scene and one died later from his wounds, police sources said.
The person who fired on police was also killed and a police source said the attacker was known to security services.
French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said police officers were targeted in the shooting, but it is too early to say what the motive was.
A police union on Twitter said the first officer killed had been shot by an attacker driving past as the officer’s car was stopped at a red light.
Witnesses reported a helicopter flying low over central Paris, apparently part of a follow-up police operation.
Authorities called on the public to avoid the area.
Photo: A police officer stands guard after the fatal shooting fellow officers. (AP: Thibault Camus)
New shots were fired near Champs Elysees avenue, more than an hour after the original shooting a police source said.
The counter-terrorism office has opened an investigation into the shooting, the prosecutor’s office said. Read the rest of this entry »
Ten people were arrested in a second night of protests in Paris over the killing by police of a Chinese father of five, an incident that has caused tensions with Beijing.
Around 400 members of the Asian community and supporters of anti-racism groups gathered outside a police station in the northeast of the capital to again denounce the fatal shooting of Shaoyo Liu, 56, in his home two days earlier.
Those who were arrested had thrown projectiles, the police said, bringing to 45 the number of protesters detained since the killing which led the Chinese government to file an official complaint.
The police say three officers were called to the man’s home in the multi-ethnic 19th district of Paris on Sunday evening after reports of a domestic dispute.
They say the man attacked a policeman with a knife, causing injuries, and that another officer then opened fire in self-defence, killing the man.
The dead man’s family were present at the time of the shooting and dispute the police version of events, denying there was a domestic row.
“He didn’t injure anyone,” the family’s lawyer Calvin Job said, adding that the man was “trimming fish with a pair of scissors” when the police burst down his door and “fired without warning”. Read the rest of this entry »
Jon Lockett and Peter Allen report: Armed police have now sealed off all roads leading into the city centre as they try to contain the situation and catch the gunman.
French reports say there were several shots fired near the Porte d’Arras metro station at around 9.50pm.
It’s said a 14-year-old boy had been shot in leg and at least two others youths had been injured.
Two of the wounded were found at the scene, while the third made their way to a nearby hospital.
Those injured are said to have been shot several times, reports respected French news site La Voix Du Nord.
One of the victims is reported to have suffered a neck injury.
Although anti-terrorist police were called to the scene, there were later reports the shooting was a ‘revenge attack’.
“A car pulled up outside the station and targeted the three youths,” said a police source. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 3, 2017
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.
What we know about the Louvre attack at 10:20 GMT pic.twitter.com/9gyGqqmlkg
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 3, 2017
— ITV News (@itvnews) February 3, 2017
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 3, 2017
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 3, 2017
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) February 3, 2017
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.
— Ministère Intérieur (@Place_Beauvau) February 3, 2017
Images on Twitter also appeared to show worried visitors outside the world famous museum.
“Something is going down at The #Louvre 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 »
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.”
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.
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.
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 »
A truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin Monday night, killing at least nine people and injuring dozens of others in what witnesses described as a deliberate attack.
The large Scania truck with a Poland license plate crashed into the market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Television footage showed the truck with its windshield smashed out on the sidewalk alongside the market, with a swarm of ambulances nearby. A large Christmas tree with a gold star on top was toppled over nearby in the street, and tree branches were crushed under the truck’s tires.
Police said a suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby and a passenger was dead. Authorities estimated that 50 people were injured, but an exact number was not immediately available.
Police said they are still investigating whether the crash was an accident or an attack, but the incident had a chilling echo of the July 14 truck attack in Nice, France that killed 86 people.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the Nice attack, which was carried out by a Tunisian living in France. ISIS and Al Qaeda have both called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack public places.
Die Welt newspaper reported that a Polish TV station had interviewed a man named Ariel Zurawski, who said that his cousin was assigned to drive the truck involved in the incident. Zurawski claimed he had last spoken to his cousin at noon Monday and said he suspected the truck had been hijacked. He added that the truck had been loaded with steel structures weighing 25 tons. Read the rest of this entry »
Sifting through muck trapped in roof gutters in Paris, Oslo and Berlin yielded 500 tiny particles from the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
Cosmic dust raining down from space has been discovered on rooftops in three major cities.
“We’ve known since the 1940s that cosmic dust falls continuously through our atmosphere, but until now we’ve thought that it could not be detected among the millions of terrestrial dust particles, except in the most dust-free environments such as the Antarctic or deep oceans.”
The tiny particles date back to the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
“The obvious advantage to this new approach is that it is much easier to source cosmic dust particles if they are in our backyards.”
— Matthew Genge, Imperial College London
Researchers sifted through 300 kilograms of muck trapped in roof gutters in Paris, Oslo and Berlin. Using magnets to pull out the particles, which contain magnetic minerals, they identified a total of 500 cosmic dust grains. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
“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 »
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.
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 »
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
The report was compiled by New World Wealth, an agency that gives information on the global wealth sector.
Anaya Roy reports: Rising tensions in France, especially in Paris following a series of Islamist terrorist attacks in 2015, have spurred an exodus of its super-wealthy citizens, a new report on migration trends of millionaires and high-net worth individuals across the world reveals. The report warns that other European countries, including the UK, Belgium, Germany and Sweden “where religious tensions are starting to emerge”, will also see similar trends.
Regarding a Brexit, the report suggests millionaires would want to stay in Britain even if it leaves the single currency bloc.
The report was compiled by New World Wealth, an agency that gives information on the global wealth sector. The report was based on data collected from investor visa programme statistics of each country; annual interviews with around 800 global high net worth individuals and with intermediaries like migration experts, second citizenship platforms, wealth managers and property agents; data from property registers and property sales statistics in each country; and by tracking millionaire movements in the media.
According to the report, Millionaire migration in 2015, France topped the list of countries with maximum millionaire outflows as it lost 10,000 millionaires, or 3% of its millionaire population. Among the cities that saw maximum millionaire outflow, Paris, was at the top – losing about 6% of its millionaire population or 7,000 millionaires in 2015 to the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and Israel.
“The large outflow of millionaires from France is notable – France is being heavily impacted by rising religious tensions between Christians and Muslims, especially in urban areas. We expect that millionaire migration away from France will accelerate over the next decade as these tensions escalate,” the report warns.
“As for inflows, Australia was the favourite destination with maximum inflows in 2015 – a total of 8,000 new millionaires. The US was ranked second with 7,000 inflows, followed by Canada, Israel, the UAE and New Zealand.”
After France, the list of countries ranked by millionaire outflows includes China ranked second, followed by Italy, India, Greece, the Russian Federation, Spain and Brazil in descending order. Read the rest of this entry »
Jonathan Sacks writes: have been in New York these past few days to give a talk at the 9/11 Museum that has been erected on the site where once the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center stood. It is a place of collective grief and remembrance, where the exhibits are fragments of twisted wreckage and the debris of destruction.
Most moving are the memorial fountains that occupy the footprint of the original buildings. Around the side, engraved in bronze, are the names of the almost 3,000 victims. Unlike most other fountains, though, here the water flows downward and in the centre disappears into a black hole, an abyss. The intention was to symbolise lives lost that can never be recovered. No matter how much water flows, the emptiness is never filled.
After the tragedies of the past few days and weeks, however, the memorial seems to have another message also. The violence never ends. Innocent blood continues to flow. Every few days there are more newly bereaved families and yet more tears.
A story is beginning to emerge that becomes clearer over time. Asad Shah, the 40-year-old shopkeeper in Glasgow, was a deeply-loved man who represented all that is good in religious faith. His crime was to wish his Christian friends and customers a happy Easter. He wanted to express gratitude to a Christian nation that had given him and his family a home where he could practise his faith without fear. He was an Amaddiya, member of an Islamic sect regarded by some Muslims as heretical. He was murdered, it seems, not just to silence him but to intimidate others who might have followed him on the path to religious tolerance. One must not forget that of the hundreds of Muslims dying daily, the majority are at the hands of fellow Muslims.
The suicide bombings in Lahore are part of a pattern in which Christians have been terrorised across an ever widening swathe of countries across the world. To be sure, the attack was not on a Christian site but a park open to people of all faiths. But the bombers chose to attack at Easter, knowing that many victims would be Christians on their way to or from prayer.
Christians are being persecuted in some 50 countries, among them North Korea, Syria, Somalia and Sudan. In 2003 there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today a few thousand. In Mosul, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, Christians were forced to flee by Islamic State (Isil) in the summer of 2014. In Afghanistan the last church was burned to the ground in 2010. In Gaza in 2007, after the rise of Hamas, the last Christian bookshop was destroyed and its owner murdered. In Yemen, on Good Friday, Father Tom Uzhunnallil, an Indian Catholic priest, was crucified by Isil. The ethnic cleansing of Christians throughout the Middle East is one of the crimes against humanity of our time, and I am appalled that there has been little serious international protest.
But the real target is not Christianity but freedom. Nor is this a war. Wars are fought between nations, by armies, and the intended victims are combatants. Terrorists wear no uniforms, and their intended victims are innocent civilians. I for one will never forget the episode two weeks ago on the Ivory Coast where terrorists gunned down a five-year-old child begging for his life.
There have been ages of terror before, but never on this scale, and never with the kind of technology that has given the jihadists the ability to radicalise individuals throughout the world, some acting as lone wolves, others, like the attackers in Paris and Brussels, working in small groups, often involving family members. Read the rest of this entry »
‘We will invade London, Brussels and Berlin, like we did in Paris before…at the earliest time.’
Bridget Johnson writes: A new video posted online by ISIS supporters shows the Eiffel Tower exploding and crashing to the ground in stylized, video game animation.
The video begins with a river of blood pooling and dripping off a wooden table filled with stacks of American money, guns, knives and bullets.
“We will come to you and terrify you everywhere. We will come after you from where you don’t expect…and fill your streets with blood.”
It’s ripped from a video game, as betrayed by the name of a video game designer with a U.S. company carved in the wood of the animated table.
The video is titled “A message to the Western Kafir [Disbelievers] from the Supporters of the Caliphate.” It’s narrated in English and subtitled in Arabic, and was posted on YouTube and other file-sharing sites.
It included Defense Department footage related to strikes on the Islamic State and news footage of ISIS attacks. Read the rest of this entry »
Pierrot and Harlequin, Juan-les-Pins, 1920
pen and black ink with gouache on cream paper
sheet (folded in half): 27.3 x 21.3 cm (10 3/4 x 8 3/8 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mrs. Gilbert W. Chapman, 1981
NARRATIVE, INTERRUPTED: U.S. Becoming Safer Compared to Europe in Both Fatalities and Frequency of Mass Public ShootingsPosted: January 8, 2016
US Now Ranks 11th in Fatalities and 12th in Frequency.
“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.”
– President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016
This claim is simply not true. Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, and 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.
Indeed, over that same period of time, the European Union (EU) suffered 303 deaths from mass public shootings, while the US had 199. In terms of injuries from these attacks the gap was even much greater, with EU countries facing 680 versus just 197 for the US. However, given the EU’s larger population, the per million people fatality rate for the US and the EU as a whole are virtually identical (0.62 for the US and 0.60 for the EU). By contrast, the injury rate in the EU is much higher (0.61 for the US and 1.34 for the EU).
This past year was a particularly bad one for Europe, with 8 Mass Public Shootings versus only 4 for the United States. Indeed, these 8 Mass Public Shootings for Europe in 2015 count for one-third of all their attacks over the entire seven year period of time…(read more)
Even if one puts it in terms of frequency, the president’s statement is still false, with the US ranking 12th compared to European countries.
Click on tables to enlarge them.
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
“Refugees should stay where the hell they are. Hey, no one has worked harder for the human condition than I have, but they’re not part of the human condition. If 11 guys in the group of 10,000 are ISIS—how can I take that chance?”
Lewis then said that President Obama was “never prepared” for ISIS and suggested that he was not a real leader…
…The clip concludes with Lewis praising Trump for his “showmanship.”
“I think he’s great,” said Lewis of Trump. “He’s a showman and we’ve never had a showman in the president’s chair.”
“You can’t make do a comparison on Ronald Reagan because I can do three hours on him with just praise, he was so good.”
“Well, we had Ronald Reagan,” Arroyo interjected….(read more)
The backlash is back.
Back on the front page, that is:
Bobby Ross Jr. writes: Before dissecting today’s Houston Chronicle story, a little background: After the San Bernardino massacre, the New York Post splashed the inflammatory headline “Muslim Killers” across its tabloid cover. At that time, we noted that — ever since 9/11 — the phrase “Muslim backlash” has entered America’s lexicon.
In follow-up posts, we questioned media reporting a “surge” in anti-Muslim crime without providing hard data to back up that factual claim. Moreover, we pointed out bias by media using the term “Islamophobia” without bothering to define it.
That leads to Houston, where firefighters battled a Christmas Day blaze at a storefront mosque.Investigators called the fire “suspicious,” citing multiple points of origin.
The fire serves as the news peg for the Chronicle’s Page A1 report today on anxiety in the area’s Muslim community:
Even before investigators determined that a Christmas Day fire at a southwest Houston mosque was set deliberately, Muslims in the Houston area were on edge.
Recent terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., were followed by threats to area Muslims on social media and elsewhere. Now, in the aftermath of the arson at the mosque, local Muslim leaders and public officials are organizing a meeting to try to calm fears and ease tensions.
M.J. Khan, the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, said he understands the community’s growing anxiety.
“Families and children come, and we do take precautions to make sure people are protected and feel safe,” said Khan, whose organization operates the mosque. Still, he added, “These are places of worship, and we cannot make them fortresses.”
The fire broke out at around 2:45 p.m. on Christmas Day at the small mosque inside the Savoy Plaza strip center, near Wilcrest Drive and Bellfort Avenue. About 80 firefighters helped extinguish the blaze, which significantly damaged the worship hall.
Given the fire, the Muslim community’s concerns are certainly newsworthy. I have no problem with the story angle or the report’s above-the-fold placement.
But here’s the problem with this 1,300-word piece (roughly twice as long as a typical daily newspaper story): It attacks the issue with a giant ax when what’s really needed is a surgical knife.
What I mean: On a story such as this, journalists need to take extra care to be precise, to report what they know — and no more. Readers deserve hard facts, not squishy generalizations.
Instead, the Chronicle makes the sweeping statement up high that “threats to area Muslims on social media and elsewhere” followed the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. OK, what threats? (Insert crickets.)
The newspaper never provides any evidence of actual threats, such as police reports. The story does provide this brief note:
Waqar Mehmood was browsing his Sugar Land neighborhood’s social media page when he saw posts from a neighbor calling for the community to cleanse itself of Muslims using pig’s blood. Read the rest of this entry »
Cupid bringing Psyche back to life with a kiss after his mother, Aphrodite, killed her in a jealous rage
Louvre Museum, Paris
President Francois Hollande called for the emergency powers to be protected from litigation by placing them in the constitution.
(AFP) – The French cabinet backed reform proposals Wednesday that could see the state of emergency called after last month’s Paris attacks enshrined in the constitution.
“The threat has never been higher. We must face up to a war, a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam.”
— Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Special policing powers used under the state of emergency — such as house arrests and the right to raid houses without judicial oversight — are currently based on an ordinary law which can be challenged at the constitutional court.
In the wake of the Paris attacks that left 130 dead, President Francois Hollande called for the emergency powers to be protected from litigation by placing them in the constitution.
“The threat has never been higher,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls told reporters following a meeting of government ministers on Wednesday.
“We must face up to a war, a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam,” he said.
The constitutional reforms must now be passed by a three-fifths majority in the upper and lower houses of parliament, where debates will start on February 3.
Valls said the latest figures showed more than 1,000 people had left France to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq, of which an estimated 148 had died and 250 returned.
“Radicalised individuals from numerous countries join Daesh (the Arab acronym for the Islamic State group). There are many French speakers and we know that fighters group themselves according to language, to train and prepare terrorist actions on our soil,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
“Musk isn’t a newcomer to the idea of a carbon tax. He’s been calling for one for years. But the evolution of his businesses and the advent of Tesla Energy, his power-storage undertaking, appear to have sharpened his pitch.”
“We have to fix the unpriced externality,” he told the audience, shifting into the wonky quasi-academic mode that he actually appears to enjoy indulging in, when he isn’t running two companies and serving as the Chairman of a third, Solar City.
His entire speech hinged on this simple observation: that the addition of carbon to the atmosphere is effectively a worldwide subsidy that’s contributing to global warming and preventing humanity from freeing itself from the fossil fuel era.
Musk called this a “hidden carbon subsidy of $5.3 trillion per year,” citing the IMF. In response to questions after his speech, he said that a good outcome of the current UN Climate Summit (COP21) taking place in France would be that governments “put their foot down” and use a revenue neutral, gradually applied carbon tax to accelerate the shift from an economy driven by fossil fuels to one driven by sustainable energy.
Musk is convinced that the current fossil fuel era will end — it’s just a question of when. In his analysis, the transition will occur simply because we’ll run out of carbon-based stuff that we can dig out of the ground and burn. But the existing carbon subsidy, in his estimation, is slowing down progress. Read the rest of this entry »
This shield was used by French Police when they entered the Bataclan Theater to rescue the victims and stop the carnage. Despite taking withering fire, the police continued charging the threats until they were shot dead or detonated their suicide belts.