#AceNewsReport – Oct.11: Barnier, who is now running for president in France, was the EU’s Brexit negotiator during the fraught talks on a deal to cover relations with the UK after it left the European Union.
#AceDailyNews says according to France24 report their are calls for creation of a migration treaty between the EU and Britain Interior Minister Darmanin also urged the British government to “uphold its promise” to finance the fight against the illegal immigrants who gather on the northern French coast seeking to cross into England he was speaking during a visit to Loon-Plage, a town on the northern French coast.
10/10/2021 – 09:24
The issue of the trafficking of migrants across the Channel to southern England is a constant source of friction between Paris and London, not least on the question of the costs incurred in policing them.
A total of 15,400 people attempted to cross the Channel in the first eight months of this year, a increase of 50 percent over the figure for the whole of 2020, according to French coast guard statistics.
“The (British) government has not yet paid what it promised us,” Darmanin said. “We call on the British to keep their promise of financing since we are maintaining the border for them”.
Border security agreement
Under an agreement reached in July, Britain agreed to finance border security in France to the tune of 62.7 million euros ($73.8 million),
According to British media reports, British Home Secretary Priti Patel in September threatened to withhold the money in the light of the record numbers of migrants arriving from France.
“France has held the border for our British friends for over 20 years,” said Darmanin.
The French side has hired more gendarmes, purchased more technological equipment and thereby “succeeded in greatly reducing migratory pressure”, he added.
France is “an ally of Britain” but “not its vassal”, he said.
Over the past three months France has stopped 65 percent of attempted crossings by illegal immigrants, up from 50 percent, the interior minister said.
Darmanin added that he had received assurances from the director of the European border surveillance agency Frontex, that it will be prepared by the end of the year to monitor the coastal area, notably through aerial surveillance.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.09: Following the City of Paris, which began displaying a large photo of Dubois over the entrance to the 10th arrondissement town hall in July, the city of Bayeux, in Normandy, unfurled a banner in support of this French journalist earlier this week. Bayeux was chosen to start this new campaign because it was the first French city to be liberated in 1944 and is currently hosting a week of events that accompany the Bayeux Calvados-Normandy Award for war correspondents….
#AceDailyNews according to an RSF Report: The aim of this “cities campaign” is to show solidarity with Dubois, who is currently the only French citizen held hostage anywhere in the world. A correspondent for Libération, Le Point and Jeune Afrique, he was abducted while out reporting in the city of Gao, in northeastern Mali, on 8 April.
Eleven other cities – Marseille, Lyon, Nice, Nantes, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Rennes, Reims, Pau, Fort-de-France and La Rochelle – will follow suit tomorrow, six months to the day after Dubois was taken hostage.
“Mobilising all these cities across the country – including Marseille where part of Olivier’s family lives, and Fort-de-France in Martinique where he is from – sends a powerful message of support and solidarity with this journalist, who was taken hostage while doing his job,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We will continue to press tirelessly for Olivier to be freed so that he can go back to keeping us informed. And we take this opportunity to thank all those who are working for his release.”
In a short video released on social media on the night of 4 May, nearly a month after his abduction, Dubois was seen confirming that he had been abducted by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM), a coalition of armed Islamist groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda. Neither his abductors nor the Malian or French authorities have provided any further news about him since then.
RSF organised an earlier show of support for Dubois in Place de la République in Paris on 8 June, the day he completed his second month in captivity. Those attending included six journalists who have been held hostage in the past – Philippe Rochot (in Lebanon in 1986), Jean-Jacques Le Garrec (Philippines in 2000), Georges Malbrunot (Iraq in 2004), Florence Aubenas (Iraq in 2005), Roméo Langlois (Colombia in 2012) and Edouard Elias (Syria in 2013 and 2014).
On 6 August, Dubois’ 47th birthday, RSF and the news media he works for posted a video message of support on social media.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.09: The incident occurred on a Eurostar service that was traveling from Paris Gare du Nord to St. Pancras on Thursday afternoon but was halted in Lille after a train manager reportedly got into an aggressive argument with a man over his face mask, according to passengers.
#AceDailyNews says according to a RT News report: Armed police drag passenger off Eurostar train after staff member accused him of wearing the ‘wrong type of mask’ and it turned into an aggressive argument ….
Following the confrontation, the manager stated that they would be informing the police at Lille for his failure to follow Covid regulations, with the train making an emergency, unscheduled stop at the station where eight officers forcibly removed the passenger. As he left the train, the passenger, thought to be in his 40s, claimed he had been accused of “not wearing the right type of mask” and would now “be left alone in France,”calling it “very cruel treatment.”
Train manager told the police to arrest the poor guy and when asked by the press why they arrested him they said “Je ne sais pas”https://t.co/w7wHOqbceu— Bones Terwilliger 🟨 🟥 (@DrStedx) October 8, 2021
A spokesperson for Eurostar defended the response to the situation, claiming that “the passenger became aggressive and intimidating toward the on-board team” after they reminded him of their rule on mask wearing and, as a result, he “was asked to leave the train at Lille station.”In accordance with the company’s “normal procedure” police officers were called “to attend and assist.”
French police confirmed the man had been arrested over the incident on the train but provided no further update on the situation.
Eurostar states on its website that all passengers must wear a face covering on its trains, even if they have been fully vaccinated, with those who fail to comply potentially being refused travel. The company’s guidelines don’t state what type of mask is required, only that it must cover the mouth and nose of passengers.
#AceNewsReport – Oct.05: A representative of France’s Catholic’s bishops on Tuesday asked victims of sexual abuse by clergy for their forgiveness, after a report was published on the scale of abuse in the French church going back decades.
#AceDailyNews says that French bishops ask for forgiveness after report released on church sex abuse according to Reuters an Independent investigation finds about 3,000 paedophiles in French Catholic Church since 1950s according to ABC Wires Monsignor Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, head of the French conference of bishops, said he and his fellow bishops wanted to express to victims their shame at the abuse revealed in the report.
Oct.5, 20219:37 AM BSTLast Updated 34 minutes ago
PARIS, Oct 5 (Reuters) – A representative of France’s Catholic’s bishops on Tuesday asked victims of sexual abuse by clergy for their forgiveness, after a report was published on the scale of abuse in the French church going back decades.
The French Catholic Church has had an estimated 3,000 paedophiles in its ranks over the past 70 years, the head of an independent commission investigating the sex abuse scandal has revealed.
The Roman Catholic Church has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals around the world, often involving children, over the past 20 years.
The French commission is due to publish its findings on Tuesday, marking the culmination of two-and-a-half years of work, probing allegations of abuse going back to the 1950s.
“We have estimated the number [of paedophiles] as standing at 3,000, out of 115,000 priests and religious officials, going back to the 1950s,” commission head Jean-Marc Sauve told the Journal du Dimanche paper.
A spokesperson representing the French Catholic Bishops’ Conference declined to comment on Mr Sauve’s remarks.
A Vatican spokesperson said it would wait for the full report to be published before deciding on whether to comment.
In June, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis was a worldwide “catastrophe”.
The French Catholic Church posted a prayer on its official Twitter account on Sunday, on behalf of victims, and added it would also hold a prayer on October 5 – the day of the publication of the report.
“Dear Lord – we entrust to you all those who have been victims of violence and sexual attacks in the church. We pray that we will always be able to count on your support and help during these ordeals,” it wrote on its Twitter account.
Steps to wipe out abuse
Since his election in 2013, Francis has taken a series of steps aimed at wiping out sexual abuse of minors by clerics.
In 2019, the Pope issued a landmark decree making bishops directly accountable for sexual abuse or covering it up, requiring clerics to report any cases to church superiors and allowing anyone to complain directly to the Vatican if needed.
This year, he issued the most extensive revision to Catholic Church law in four decades, insisting that bishops take action against clerics who abuse minors and vulnerable adults. Critics have said he has not done enough.
The church, which has seen dwindling numbers of faithful in France in recent years, said in March it would propose financial compensation to those who were victims of abuse.
Last month, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cologne decided to take a “spiritual time-out” from his duties after committing grave errors in a crisis over clerical sexual abuse.
A report published last year in Britain said the Catholic Church received more than 900 complaints involving over 3,000 instances of child sex abuse in England and Wales between 1970 and 2015, and that there had been more than 100 reported allegations a year since 2016.
Sources: Reuters/ABC News/BBC News/ Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Christian Lowe
#AceNewsReport – Sept.24: Arriving from France at around 7am, all passengers on flight VN18 met requirements as per the seven-day quarantine policy of the Ministry of Health. …..
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that Vân Đồn Airport welcomes over 300 passengers with ‘vaccine passport’ from France….This is also the last flight in the pilot ‘vaccine passport’ programme to Việt Nam during the #COVID19 pandemic.
Before boarding the plane, passengers had to meet all health requirements, be fully vaccinated, have proof of negative COVID-19 tests (RT-PCR/RT-LAMP methods) 72 hours before departure, and ensure safety measures throughout the flight.
After arriving at the airport in Vân Đồn, they were transported to FLC Hạ Long Hotel in Quảng Ninh for seven-day centralised quarantine.
September has seen flights in this 7-day quarantine programme taking place smoothly and safely, which builds confidence within the community for the near future in which domestic and international travel resumes.
The programme also provides crucial data for review and evaluation before the ‘vaccine passport’ or ‘green card’ are deployed on a larger scale in an aim to balance economic development and the fight against COVID-19, according to Phạm Ngọc Sáu, Director of Vân Đồn International Airport.
With advanced technology, strict procedures against the pandemic, and excellent coordination between departments, Vân Đồn International Airport is the first to receive pilot flights in the seven-day quarantine programme.
A total of 943 Việt Nam nationals have returned home under this programme to date. Passengers arriving in Việt Nam on September 4 and 12 have been able to return to their localities after completing the centralised quarantine in Quảng Ninh. — VNS
French President Emmanuel Macron announced the death of Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi overnight.
According to Macron’s office, al-Sahrawi personally ordered the killing of six French aid workers and their Nigerien colleagues last year, and his group was behind a 2017 attack that killed U.S. and Niger military personnel.
He was killed in a strike by France’s Barkhane military operation “a few weeks ago,” but authorities waited to be sure of his identity before making the announcement, French Defense Minister Florence Parly told RFI radio Thursday.
She did not disclose details of the operation or where al-Sahrawi was killed, though ISIS is active along the border between Mali and Niger.
“He was at the origin of massacres and terror,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday on France-Info radio. He urged African governments to fill the void and seize back ground taken by the extremists.
Rumors of the militant leader’s death had circulated for weeks in Mali, though authorities in the region had not confirmed it. It was not immediately possible to independently verify the claim or to know how the remains had been identified….
#AceNewsReport – Sept.10: The ruling by the Court of Cassation marks a major setback for Lafarge, which is accused of paying nearly 13 millions euros ($15.3 million) to jihadist groups including the Islamic State (IS) to keep its cement factory in northern Syria running through the early years of the country’s war.
#AceDailyNews report on cement corporation Lafarge paid $15,300,000 to jihad groups to keep Syria factory running and loses ruling in Syria ‘crimes against humanity’ case,” by Eleonore Dermy and Clare Byrne, AFP, September 7, 2021:
Lafarge’s lawyer refused AFP’s request for comment.
Lafarge, which merged in 2015 with Swiss group Holcim, has acknowledged that its Syrian subsidiary paid middlemen to negotiate with armed groups to allow the movement of staff and goods inside the war zone.
But it denies any responsibility for the money winding up in the hands of terrorist groups and has fought to have the case dropped.
The Paris Court of Appeal had in 2019 dismissed the crimes against humanity charge, saying it accepted that the payments were not aimed at abetting IS’s gruesome agenda of executions and torture.
It however ruled that the company be prosecuted on three other charges — financing terrorism, violating an EU embargo and endangering the lives of others.
Eleven former employees of Lafarge Cement Syria (LCS) challenged the decision at the Court of Cassation, with the backing of NGOs.
Quashing the lower court’s finding on complicity, France’s highest court of appeal ruled Tuesday that “one can be complicit in crimes against humanity even if one doesn’t have the intention of being associated with the crimes committed.”
“Knowingly paying several million dollars to an organisation whose sole purpose was exclusively criminal suffices to constitute complicity, regardless of whether the party concerned was acting to pursue a commercial activity,” it added.
The judges added that “numerous acts of complicity” would go unpunished if courts adopted a more lenient interpretation….
#AceNewsReport – Sept.08: Over the next nine months, there will be over 140 days of hearings involving about 330 lawyers and 1,800 survivors and relatives of victims. About 300 witnesses will be heard, including François Hollande, French president at the time of the attacks.
#AceDailyNews says that Paris Attacks 2015 Historic Trial of 20 suspects opens in France: The only surviving attacker, Salah Abdeslam, is in court with 13 other defendants at a purpose-built facility in Paris: In a trial that is being described as the biggest in France’s modern history.
The shooting and bombing assault by #IslamistState (IS) group extremists was the worst post-World War Two atrocity in France:
Ahead of the trial, Mr Hollande told French media that this was an important moment for the victims of the attacks, which he described as an “act of war” at the time.
IS admitted carrying out the attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars on 13 November 2015.
Philippe Duperron, who lost his son Thomas in the Bataclan attack, said there were mixed feelings about the trial, not least impatience and anxiety.
“It will be the occasion for all the victims to bear witness, so it will be a very painful moment, and bring back the pain again,” he said.
One survivor, Jérôme Barthélemy, said he wanted to hear how other victims had been coping since the attacks but didn’t expect the accused to speak.
Of the 20 suspects on trial, six are being tried in absentia. They are facing charges of murder, complicity and terrorist conspiracy.
Most of the accused, including Abdeslam, could be sentenced to life in jail if convicted.
Getty ImagesThe courtroom has been specially constructed for the trial, said to be France’s biggest ever
Abdeslam, 31, is accused of providing logistical support to the assailants. Abdeslam fled the scene of the carnage after abandoning his suicide belt, which investigators later found to be defective.
Europe’s most-wanted man at the time, he was captured four months later in the Belgium capital, Brussels, after a shootout with police.
Abdeslam has since refused to co-operate with French investigators. He remained largely silent throughout a separate trial in Belgium in 2018. There is much speculation about whether he will speak during this trial.
On Wednesday morning he and the other suspects arrived at court in police vehicles under heavy security. Reporters in court said they were seated together in the witness box, wearing face masks, before the trial opened.Inside the Bataclan: Survivors’ stories
The area around the court was blocked off and armed police with dogs were on patrol ahead of the proceedings.
Those attending the trial will need to pass through several checkpoints before being allowed into the specially built courtroom, which can seat hundreds.
The trial will be recorded for the archives, but will not be broadcast live. Survivors and relatives of victims, know as civil plaintiffs in France, will be able to follow along via streaming radio if they cannot attend.
The first days of the trial are expected to be largely procedural until victims are called to give testimony at the end of September.
Who are the suspects on trial?
Abdeslam is the only surviving member of the group suspected of carrying out the attacks. He has been in jail since he was arrested in Belgium in 2016.
The 13 other defendants appearing in court are accused of a range of crimes, including financing and planning the attacks.
Belgian/French policeAbdeslam was arrested in a dramatic raid not far from his home in Brussels in March 2016
Among them is Mohamed Abrini, who is accused of financing and supplying weapons to the attackers. The 36-year-old is due to stand trial over the 2016 Brussels bombings next year.
Other suspects include Mohammed Amri, 33, and Hamza Attouh, 27, who were arrested in Belgium and admitted picking up Abdeslam in France and driving him back to Brussels immediately after the attacks.
Six more are accused of helping organise the attacks and will be tried in absentia. Several are thought to be dead.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.17: Many were given only minutes to leave as hundreds of firefighters were deployed in the Var region to the west of Saint-Tropez.
#AceDailyNews says thousands are being evacuated as blaze rages near Riviera according to Reuters local officials say more than 900 firefighters have been mobilised to tackle the wildfire in southern France BBC Newssays that fire officials say the blaze broke out on Monday and has consumed more than 5,000 hectares (12,350 acres).
Nineteen people suffered smoke inhalation and three have been injured.
The fire ignited during an intense heatwave, with forecasters expecting temperatures of up to 35C on Tuesday.
Southern France is the latest area in Europe to be ravaged by wildfires this summer as temperatures soar to record levels around the Mediterranean.
Scientists say heatwaves are becoming more likely and more extreme because of climate change driven by human-induced carbon emissions.
Greece, Turkey, Spain and Portugal are among the countries that have been grappling with wildfires that have claimed lives and destroyed homes.
The blaze in southern France started near the village of Gonfaron, about 50km (30 miles) west of of Saint-Tropez.
By Tuesday morning, it had swept across more than 5,000 hectares of forest and scrubland, the local fire department said.
Firefighting aircraft dumped water to help douse the flames. Var’s local government said 900 firefighters and 120 police had been deployed.
ReutersAircraft have been dropping water on the wildfire
Most of the evacuations took place around the villages of Le Mole and Grimaud.
Seven campsites were cleared of tourists, the local prefect told BFMTV, and some were destroyed by the fire as the flames – fanned by strong winds – spread rapidly.
Tourists and residents in those areas have been sheltering in town halls, collages and gyms. Holidaymakers told French media they were evacuated from hotels at short notice.
France’s Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he would travel to the scene of the fire on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, in southern Portugal, hundreds of firefighters were struggling to control a blaze that prompted the evacuation of around 60 people in the Algarve region.
The fires comes a week a major United Nations report warned of more extreme weather events because of global warming. Elsewhere in Europe, flash floods have hit both Austria and northern Italy.
Austrian emergency services rescued dozens of people trapped in cars and buildings after a storm triggered flash floods and mudslides in the Pongau and Pinzgau areas near Salzburg. A bus was destroyed by the flooding.Österreichische WasserrettungOnly
Only a few people were on the bus when it was caught up in flooding at Dienten: Similar rescue operations were necessary in parts of northern Italy, where flood water swept away cars and uprooted trees.
Some of the worst flooding was in the village of Sonico in Lombardy where the river Oglio burst its banks. In South Tyrol, near the border with Austria, dozens of people had to be helped to safety while others were told to stay in their homes.You may also be interested in: ‘I learned to fight fires because I had to’
#AceNewsReport – Aug.13: The vessel is believed to have begun filling up with water as it headed for the UK this morning: The rescue operation, involving French and Belgian air and sea units, is ongoing, authorities in France say…..
#AceDailyNews says that a boat carrying 40-illegal-migrants starts sinking in English Channel just off-the-coast of Dunkirk sparking rescue involvingFrench & Belgium rescue services today and were taken to a hospital in Calais…..
#AceNewsReport – Aug.10: The suspicious envelope was intercepted by postal employees overnight at a mail sorting facility in a Milan suburb, according to the carabinieri provincial command in Milan. It had been sent from France….
#AceDailyNews says that Italian postal workers have intercepted a suspicious letter containing three bullets to the pope that came from France and is under investgation according to Associated Press in Milan…..
The envelope was addressed by hand in pen to: “The Pope, Vatican City, St. Peter’s Square, Rome,” and contained three bullets presumed to be for a pistol and a message referring to financial operations at the Vatican.
An investigation is ongoing. There is no immediate comment from the Vatican.
#AceHealthReport – Aug.08: Mass protests kicked off in several French cities on Saturday, with thousands condemning government plans to toughen anti-coronavirus restrictions.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that thousands have protested across France on Saturday over Macron’s #COVID19 health pass & mandatory vaccination as a huge march was held in Paris, where participants were accompanied by a massive police presence, live footage from RT’s video agency Ruptly shows.
The protest has taken place without any major incident so far, with police and marchers only engaging in minor pushing along the route. At one point, law enforcement could be seen pepper-spraying protesters who tried to push against the police line.
Large protests have also been staged in other cities across the country. A massive column of protesters marched through the streets of the southwestern coastal city of La Rochelle to condemn the plans for a health pass.
Some 200,000 protesters were expected to hit the streets of French cities, according to local media reports, citing police sources. So far, French law enforcement has not released any official estimates on the scale of the ongoing protests.
The latest round of protests, which have rocked the country for the past few weeks, comes after France’s top court deemed most of the controversial legislation package to be constitutional. The legislation, approved by the court on Thursday, is expected to come into force on Monday.
While critics of the legislation have accused the government of trampling on civil rights and even sliding towards a “dictatorship,” the authorities have insisted that the package is designed only to encourage vaccination.
#AceNewsReport – July.30: On 19 December, Hart had travelled to Eersel in the Netherlands, later telling officers the trip had been to buy Christmas presents, as well as to collect a motorcycle and parts for his family’s hobby of international motocross racing……..
#AceDailyNews reports that a man tried to smuggle drugs into the U.K. after Netherlands Christmas shopping trip with his wife and ‘The National Crime Agency’ investigated after a van hired by Sean Hart, 40, from Newcastle, was stopped at the Eurotunnel controls in Coquelles, France in December 2016 he was arrested and later charged.
After stopping the van on its return journey to the UK, Border Force officers discovered two packages of cocaine weighing a total of 2kg concealed in the dashboard. The cocaine would be worth an estimated £60k at wholesale and £160k at street level.
Today [27 July], Sean Hart was convicted of importing a class A drug after a seven day trial at Newcastle Crown Court: He is due to be sentenced on 15 September at the same location.
NCA Operations Manager Julie Booker said: “This was a blatant attempt to smuggle illegal drugs into the UK under the guise of travelling to do his Christmas shopping. Not only was Sean Hart prevented from making money from importing class A drugs, he now faces the prospect of prison time: “Illegal drugs are at the root of considerable violence and exploitation. We will continue to work with partners like Border Force to keep our communities safe by preventing class A drugs from entering the country.”
A second defendant was found not guilty after the same trial.
#AceNewsReport – July.30: Lakatos was part of international organised gang who targeted the Boodles store in New Bond Street, central London, and stole seven gems, replacing them with pebbles, during the theft on 10 March 2016…….
#AceDailyNews reports that a woman has been found guilty of role in £4.2million diamond heist Lulu Lakatos – 60 (26.06.61) from the Saint Brieuc region of France, was found guilty of conspiracy to steal on Wednesday, 28 July following the conclusion of her trial: She was sentenced on the same day to five years and six months’ imprisonment.
Lakatos was part of a gang who had been intrinsically planning the raid for some time, engaging with Boodles and posing as a wealthy Russian investor who was looking to purchase gems. In the weeks leading up to the raid, meetings had been held with Boodles and people purporting to work for the ‘investor’, culminating in an arrangement where a gemmologist named ‘Anna’ working on behalf of the investor would travel to London to inspect the gems – this role was to be played by Lakatos:
The court were told how Lakatos entered the country on the day before the raid and checked into a hotel in Cricklewood in the company of another woman: At around 20:15hrs on 9 March 2016, Lakatos met with two men at a café near to her hotel. All three drove into central London where they scoped out the Boodles store from the street, before Lakatos was dropped back in Cricklewood: The following day Lakatos, now dressed to impersonate the gemmologist ‘Anna’, arrived for the pre-arranged meeting at Boodles. Outside the Boodles store, four other members of the gang were present, observing events. These were the two men Lakatos had met the previous evening, and two women who have yet to be identified: Using the guise that she did not speak English very well, Lakatos and staff at Boodles communicated in French – Lakatos would subsequently use this language barrier as part of the execution of the theft: After being shown into a secure area in the presence of Boodles own gemmologist, the seven diamonds were produced for Lakatos to examine; each were then individually placed in a locked bag and were to be stored with Boodles until confirmation of the payment had been received: Following Lakatos’s inspection, she placed the bag containing the diamonds in her own handbag. The Boodle’s gemmologist immediately challenged her, but Lakatos used the apparent language barrier to cause a delay, before appearing to produce the same locked bag containing the diamonds from her handbag: However, in the seconds that Lakatos had engineered, she had switched the padlocked bag with a duplicate one already stored within her handbag containing seven pebbles of the same weight: The gemmologist raised concerns, and a visual check of the bag was carried out but the padlocked bag was not discovered: Lakatos left the shop with the staff unaware of what had taken place in front of their own eyes…..As she walked down the street she was followed by the two women; they caught up with her and CCTV footage showed Lakatos transferring the bag to one of the women as they continued to walk: Further back, the two men followed at a distance: All the gang members then went their separate ways. Lakatos took a taxi to a pub near Victoria Station where she changed her clothing in a pub toilet before catching a Eurostar train meaning she had been in and out of the country, having committed the theft, within 24 hours and within just three hours of committing the offence.
The following day, Boodles – who still held concerns over the way ‘Anna’ the gemmologist had acted – had the locked bag in their possession x-rayed. While the items inside appeared to be the same size as the diamonds, they did not appear quite right. The bag was opened and the pebbles were discovered: An investigation was launched, led by the Met’s Flying Squad. They painstakingly began to piece together the evidence, analysing hours of CCTV footage and interrogating the forensic trail left behind by the gang through their contact with Boodles.
Lakatos was identified and arrested in France and extradited back to the UK on 3 December 2020….
Acting Detective Sergeant William Man of the Flying Squad said: This was an audacious theft, carried out in plain view of experienced and professional staff at a renowned jewellers. The meticulous planning and execution of this theft reveals to me that those involved were highly skilled criminals: “ However, due to the tenacious police work of the Flying Squad, involving painstaking analysis of a vast amount of evidence, we have managed to identify Lakatos and bring her to justice: “ While she played a key role in this theft, it is clear she did not work alone and enquiries remain ongoing to identify all those involved.”
= The two men involved in this theft were identified convicted of conspiracy to steal. An investigation is ongoing for the other two women seen to be involved in the exchange with Lakatos following the theft: …….A third woman – who accompanied Lakatos into the UK – was found not guilty of conspiracy to steal following a trial.
#AceNewsReport – July.26: The emergency services were alerted by the migrants, and a rescue vessel picked them up in the sea off the Pas-de-Calais area, according to a French police statement.
#AceDailyNews says that U.K.reportedly paid France £54-million to search for illegals leaving their country and they say they have rescued a boatload of 42 migrants in the English Channel and they were taken to the nearby port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, and all are in good health, the statement said.
Reuters July. 23, 20217:32 PM BSTLast Updated 14 hours ago
Thousands of migrants each year attempt the dangerous sea crossing from France to the coast of Britain, often paying human smugglers to help them through one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes in overloaded rubber dinghies: Britain has repeatedly pressed French President Emmanuel Macron’s government to do more to prevent the migrants leaving France.
When Europe turns a blind eye: Life and death in the Mediterranean – Reporters
In the Mediterranean, the years go by and almost nothing changes. In 2021, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 955 people have already died trying to reach Europe by sea – twice as many as during the same period last year. NGOs believe these figures are no doubt an underestimate.
23/07/2021 – 19:00
According to the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), coastal states have a legal obligation to organise and assist searches in the event of a distress signal. However, since 2016, civil society groups have been plugging the gap.
On April 21, the Ocean Viking began a race against time to try to rescue a dinghy in distress amid a storm, with nearly 130 people on board. But without assistance from the competent authorities, the vessel arrived too late at the scene of a fatal shipwreck.
A few days later, 236 survivors, including 119 minors, were rescued from two other inflatable boats on which they were adrift, before being transported to a port on the European continent. Among them were men, women and children fleeing the hell for migrants that is Libya.
In this documentary, FRANCE 24 brings you an in-depth look at the reality for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life.
FRANCE 24’s Emmanuelle Chaze tells us more about filming her report:
Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Giles Elgood
#AceNewsReport – July.25: This report was provided. By BBC Trending on the effort to use disinformation on vaccines with public, do what’s right in your heart always ….
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that YouTubers who blew the whistle on an anti-vax plot and the The BBC reports they have made multiple attempts to contact AdNow by phone, email and even a letter couriered to their Moscow headquarters, but they have not responded.
By Charlie Haynes and Flora Carmichael BBC Trending
“It started with an email” says Mirko Drotschmann, a German YouTuber and journalist.
Mirko normally ignores offers from brands asking him to advertise their products to his more than 1.5 million subscribers. But the sponsorship offer he received in May this year was unlike any other.
An influencer marketing agency called Fazze offered to pay him to promote what it said was leaked information that suggested the death rate among people who had the Pfizer vaccine was almost three times that of the AstraZeneca jab.
The information provided wasn’t true.
It quickly became apparent to Mirko that he was being asked to spread disinformation to undermine public confidence in vaccines in the middle of a pandemic.
“I was shocked,” says Mirko “then I was curious, what’s behind all that?”
Mirko DrotschmannMirko Drotschmann was offered money to spread disinformation on his social media accounts
In France, science YouTuber Léo Grasset received a similar offer. The agency offered him 2000 euros if he would take part. Fazze said it was acting for a client who wished to remain anonymous.
“That’s a huge red flag” says Léo.
Both Léo and Mirko were appalled by the false claims.
They pretended to be interested in order to try to find out more and were provided with detailed instructions about what they should say in their videos.
In stilted English, the brief instructed them to “Act like you have the passion and interest in this topic.”
Léo GrassetLéo Grasset was horrified by the attempt to recruit him
It told them not to mention the video had a sponsor – and instead pretend they were spontaneously giving advice out of concern for their viewers.
Social media platforms have rules that ban not disclosing that content is sponsored. In France and Germany it’s also illegal.
Fazze’s brief told influencers to share a story in French newspaper Le Monde about a data leak from the European Medicines Agency.
The story was genuine, but didn’t include anything about vaccine deaths. But in this context it would give the false impression that the death rate statistics had come from the leak.
The data the influencers were asked to share had actually been cobbled together from different sources and taken out of context.
It presented the numbers of people who had died in several countries some time after receiving different Covid vaccines. But just because someone dies after having a vaccine doesn’t mean they died because they had the vaccine. They could have been killed in a car accident.
In the countries the statistics were from, greater numbers of people had received the Pfizer vaccine at that time, so a higher number of people dying after having a Pfizer jab was to be expected.
“If you don’t have any scientific training, you could just say, ‘oh, there are these numbers, they are really different. So there must be a link.’ But you can make any spurious correlation as you want really,” Léo says.
The influencers were also provided with a list of links to share – dubious articles which all used the same set of figures that supposedly showed the Pfzer vaccine was dangerous.
When Léo and Mirko exposed the Fazze campaign on Twitter all the articles, except the Le Monde story, disappeared from the web.
By any measure the disinformation campaign was bungled.
Since Léo and Mirko blew the whistle at least four other influencers in France and Germany have gone public to reveal they also rejected Fazze’s attempts to recruit them.
But German journalist, Daniel Laufer, has identified two influencers who may have taken up the offer.
Indian YouTuber Ashkar Techy usually makes jokey videos about cars and dating and Brazilian prankster Everson Zoio, has more than three million Instagram followers.
Each of them posted uncharacteristic videos in which they pushed the same message as the Fazze campaign and shared the fake news links from the agency’s brief. Both had also participated in previous Fazze promotions.
After Daniel Laufer contacted them, Everson Zoio and Ashkar Techy removed their videos but didn’t answer his questions. The BBC tried to contact both influencers, but they didn’t respond.
Ashkar TechyAshkar Techy shared the dubious data in his video
We tried emailing the people who approached Mirko and Léo. The emails bounced back, not from Fazze, but from the domain of a company called AdNow.
Fazze is a part of AdNow, which is a digital marketing company, registered in both Russia and the UK.
Eventually we managed to contact Ewan Tolladay, one of two directors of the British arm of AdNow – who lives in Durham.
Mr Tolladay said he had very little to do with Fazze – which he said was a joint venture between his fellow director – a Russian man called Stanislav Fesenko – and another person whose identity he didn’t know.
He said that he hadn’t been a part of the disinformation campaign. He said he hadn’t even known Fazze had taken on the contract before the story broke. He couldn’t enlighten us on who the mystery client was.
He said that in light of the scandal “we are doing the responsible thing and shutting down AdNow here in the UK”. He said Fazze was also being shut down.
We have tried to get Mr Fesenko to talk to us but had no success.
Both the French and German authorities have launched investigations into Fazze’s approaches to influencers.
But the identity of the agency’s mystery client remains unclear.
There has been speculation about the Russian connections to this scandal and the interests of the Russian state in promoting its own vaccine – Sputnik V.
Omid Nouripour, the foreign policy spokesman for the German Green party has suggested looking to Moscow for the motivation behind the Fazze campaign.
He said: “Bad-mouthing vaccines in the West undermines trust in our democracies and is supposed to increase trust in Russia’s vaccines, and there is only one side that benefits and that is the Kremlin.”
But in a statement the Russian embassy in London said: “We treat Covid-19 as a global threat and, thus, are not interested in undermining global efforts in the fight against it, with vaccinating people with the Pfizer vaccine as one of the ways to cope with the virus.”
While Fazze’s campaign was a flop, Léo Grasset believes it won’t be the last attempt to use the power of social influencers to spread disinformation.
“If you want to manipulate public opinion, especially for young people, you don’t go to TV” says French YouTuber Léo Grasset.
“Just spend the same money on TikTok creators, YouTube creators. The whole ecosystem is perfectly built for maximum efficiency of disinformation right now.”
#AceNewsReport – July.23: The group are alleged to have had contacts across Europe, in France, Germany the Netherlands and Poland…..
#AceDailyNews reports that seven arrests have been made as NCA dismantles Albanian people smuggling network suspected of bringing hundreds to the UK these were among those detained by NCA officers in a series of raids in south London, Surrey, Oxfordshire and Hartlepool yesterday (20 July) was the alleged ringleader of the people smuggling network, which investigators believe used lorries and hired vans to transport individuals from northern France.
Over a period of six months between July and December 2020 six such attempts were stopped by Border Force officers carrying out searches of vehicles at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, near Calais.
All have subsequently been linked to the OCG under investigation by the NCA.
In one of those attempts, in August last year, two vans were intercepted within half an hour of each other, each carrying ten Albanian migrants.
The drivers of all the stopped vehicles were arrested and investigated by Immigration Enforcement.
In May 2021 two further attempts linked to the network were stopped, as NCA investigators shared intelligence with French and German counterparts which led to vehicles containing migrants being halted by police before they could reach the coast.
In some cases migrants are believed to have paid the OCG between �20,000 and �25,000 to reach the UK. NCA financial investigators have identified numerous bank accounts alleged to belong to the network, each showing tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds in turnover.
All seven arrested today are now being questioned on suspicion of offences including conspiring to facilitate illegal entry to the UK and money laundering.
The operation, which involved around 100 officers, was supported by the Metropolitan Police and Immigration Enforcement. Approximately �30,000 cash was also detained.
NCA Branch Commander Richard Harrison said: We believe these arrests will have significantly disrupted an organised criminal network responsible for smuggling potentially hundreds of people into the UK illegally: The network claimed to provide a top of the range service and charged accordingly, using complicit drivers to transport migrants in hired vehicles: This activity represented a significant threat to both the safety of the migrants involved and the security of UK border controls.”
NCA Deputy Director Andrea Wilson added: This operation shows that people smugglers are right at the top of the NCA’s target list: It is a form of criminality that sees people exploited for profit by criminals who have no regard for human life: Those involved in organised immigration crime should know that our officers are working day and night with partners in the UK and abroad to find them, disrupt and dismantle their business models and bring them to justice: I also have a message today for drivers, commercial or otherwise, who would consider assisting these organised criminal networks by transporting migrants on their behalf.
#AceNewsReport – July.21: The BBC’s Jon Donnison spoke to some of the migrants trying to make the dangerous journey: The UK will pay more than £54m as part of the deal, which will also improve intelligence sharing…..
He told the Today programme: “The fact is, we’ve seen it before. Having more money, having more police officers, having more controls, will not prevent people to succeed in these crossing attempts: ‘We have too many kilometres of shore to monitor.”….The funding will also be used for better technology to target those who organise the crossings, the Home Office said.
The Home Office said on Tuesday 287 people had landed in the UK.
‘Step too far’
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and French interior minister Gerald Darmanin have agreed to “strengthen co-operation” over the crossings.
The Home Office said UK support last year helped France double the number of officers deployed daily on the beaches of its northern coast.
It said this resulted in France preventing twice as many crossings so far this year compared with the same period in 2020.
However, it said the people who facilitated the crossings had now changed their tactics and had moved further up the French coast, “forcing migrants to take even longer, riskier journeys”.
Mr Dumont added that the French are not supposed to intervene at sea – yet former Border Force chief Tony Smith has called for joint patrols.
Mr Smith said: “That seems to be a step too far for the French at the moment. The French position is they are not prepared to intervene on the high seas, only on land.”
PA MediaA group of people thought to be migrants are escorted by Border Patrol in Dungeness on Tuesday
The new support announced by the UK would enable France “to respond by posting more security forces further up the coast, installing and utilising the latest surveillance equipment throughout northern France”, the Home Office said.
Home Office minister Victoria Atkins insisted that a £28m deal between the UK and France last November, to double police patrols on French beaches, had made a difference, saying it had prevented some 7,500 people crossing the Channel.
Ms Atkins told Today it was an “incredibly complicated” situation and that the UK was trying to work with other countries to make sure “when people arrive in a safe country, they remain there and do not try to make that hazardous journey”. She said the government wanted “safe routes for legal migrants” and to crack down on the gangs bringing people over……..’No quick and easy fix’
Analysis by Simon Jones, BBC reporter, in DoverFrom the famous White Cliffs of Dover, we watched this morning as another group of migrants was brought to shore by the Border Force, having been picked up in the Channel. Conditions at sea are once again incredibly calm and the sun is shining, so these are unlikely to be the only arrivals today. Almost 1,000 people have reached the UK by boat in the past three days, putting pressure on the home secretary to act. Priti Patel is now pledging more money to the French authorities to try to prevent the crossings. But the deal struck last night is very similar to one agreed between Britain and France last November – which has failed to stem the numbers arriving, though the Home Office points out the number of crossings being prevented by the French authorities has doubled.The government here accepts there is no quick and easy fix to problems with the asylum system, but there’s no doubt the home secretary will want to see swift results in return for the increased investment in northern France.Ms Patel has previously pledged to make Channel crossings “unviable”, with new legislation that will make it a crime to knowingly arrive in the UK without permission.The Nationality and Borders Bill, which is currently being considered by MPs, will mean migrants entering without permission could face up to four years in prison.The government hopes the overhaul of asylum rules will deter migrants from making the crossing.But the plans have been criticised by charities including Refugee Action, which has called them “extreme and nasty”. PA MediaA dinghy’s arrival being watched over by the crew of an RNLI lifeboatDan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander for the Home Office, said: “There is an unacceptable rise in dangerous small boat crossings across the Channel because of a surge in illegal migration across Europe.”People should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and not risk their lives making these dangerous crossings. We are continuing to pursue the criminals behind these illegal crossings.”He added that the Nationality and Borders Bill would “protect lives and break this cycle of illegal crossings” and the government was continuing to return those with no legal right to remain in the UK. But Amnesty International’s Steve Valdez-Symonds told the BBC the new legislation was an “extremely reckless and dangerous response” to the issue and would not tackle the problem of people smugglers. Instead, he said it was likely to drive desperate people to avoid the authorities, leaving them vulnerable to further exploitation and slavery. Labour shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said the Home Office announcement was “yet more empty words from the Conservatives about agreeing a deal with France to address trafficking gangs”.He said ministers promised a plan with France in August 2020, “yet almost a year later they are still making empty promises, letting down victims, and allowing criminals to continue their evil trade”.
#AceHealthReport – July.19: Over 100,000 people protested across France on Saturday against the government’s latest measures to push people to get vaccinated and curb rising infections by the delta variant of the #coronavirus…
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says PARIS: Thousands of people marched around France to protest mandatory vaccinations for health care workers and #COVID19 passes that will be required to enter restaurants and other venues acording to AP
ABC News By CONSTANTIN GOUVY Associated Press: 17 July 2021, 21:47
CDC director: COVID-19 spreading among unvaccinated
In Paris, separate protest marches by the far-right and the far-left wound through different parts of the city. Demonstrations were also held in Strasbourg in the east, Lille in the north, Montpellier in the south and elsewhere.
Thousands of people answered calls to take to the streets by Florian Philippot, a fringe far-right politician and former right hand of Marine Le Pen who announced earlier this month that he would run in the 2022 presidential election. Gathered a stone’s throw away from the Louvre Museum, protesters chanted “Macron, clear off!”, “Freedom,” and banged metal spoons on saucepans.
While Philippot has organized small but regular protests against the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, Saturday’s demonstration drew a larger and more diverse crowd of people broadly disaffected with politics: yellow vest activists angry over perceived economic injustice, far-right supporters, medical staff and royalists.
They denounced the government’s decision on Monday to make vaccinescompulsory for all health care workers, and to require a “health pass” proving people are fully vaccinated, have recently tested negative or recovered from the virus in order to access restaurants and other public venues. President Emmanuel Macron’s government is presenting a draft law Monday to enshrine the measures.
“I will never get vaccinated,” Bruno Auquier, a 53-year-old town councilor who lives on the outskirts of Paris. “People need to wake up,” he said, questioning the safety of the vaccine.
While France already requires several vaccinations to enter public school, Auquier pledged to take his two children out of school if the coronavirus vaccine became mandatory. “These new measures are the last straw,” Auquier said.
The government warned of the continued spread of the delta variant, which authorities fear could again put pressure on hospitals if not enough people are vaccinated against the virus. The pandemic has cost France more than 111,000 lives and deeply damaged the economy.
During a visit to a pop-up vaccination center in the southwest, Prime Minister Jean Castex exhorted the French to stick together in order to overcome the crisis.
“There is only one solution: vaccination,” he said, stressing it “protects us, and will make us freer.”
At the Paris protest, a manual worker in his sixties expressed bitterness about jobs in his sector sent offshore. A 24-year-old royalist said he was there to demand “the return of God and the King.”
Lucien, a 28-year-old retail shop manager, said he wasn’t anti-vaccine, but thought that everyone should be able to do as they please with their own body. “The government is going too far,” he said. His 26-year-old friend Elise said, “I am vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and polio. But the COVID vaccine is just too experimental.”
While a majority of French health care workers have had at least one vaccine dose, some are resisting the government’s decision to make vaccination compulsory for all staff in medical facilities.
At Saturday’s Paris protest, a 39-year-old green party supporter and hospital laboratory worker said she might resort to buying a fake vaccination certificate to avoid losing her job. A health care worker dressed as the Statue of Liberty called it “act of violence” to force people to get vaccinated.
In Montpellier, more than 1,000 people marched to the train station, chanting “Liberty!” and carrying signs reading “Our kids aren’t Guinea pigs.” Security officials closed the main entrance to travelers and a dozen police officers took posts in front.
The Interior Ministry said 114,000 people took part in protests nationwide.
Overnight on Friday, vandals ransacked a vaccination center in the southeast. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin asked prefects and police chiefs to reinforce security for elected officials, after several complained they had received threats in recent days over the latest anti-COVID measures.
Vaccine hesitancy is considered widespread in France, though appears to have faded somewhat as 36 million French people have gotten coronavirus vaccine doses in recent months. Millions more have gotten injected or signed up for vaccinations since Monday’s announcement.
French health care workers have until Sept. 15 to get vaccinated. The requirement for COVID passes for all restaurants, bars, hospitals, shopping malls, trains, planes and other venues is being introduced in stages starting Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the French government announced tightened border controls starting Sunday, but also said it would allow in travelers from anywhere in the world who have been fully vaccinated.
That now includes people who received AstraZeneca’s Indian-manufactured vaccine. The move came after a global outcry over the fact that the European Union’s COVID-19 certificate only recognizes AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Europe.
Elaine Ganley in Montpellier and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.