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….
#AceHealthReport – Sept.13: The UK had about 100 million doses on order, after it increased its request by 40 million in February…..
#CoronavirusNewsDesk says that UK has scrapped the #COVID19 vaccine deal with French firm Valneva the company said in a statement that the UK government served notice over allegations of a breach of the agreement, which it “strenuously denies” as the Valneva’s jab is still being tested in trials although regulators must be satisfied before the rollout of any vaccine, manufacturing at a site in West Lothian, Scotland, had already started……..
In a statement on its website, Valneva said: “Valneva SE, a specialty vaccine company, today announced that it has received a termination notice from the UK Government (HMG) in relation to the Supply Agreement for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001: The contract provides HMG with the right to terminate. HMG has alleged that the company is in breach of its obligations under the supply agreement, but the company strenuously denies this.”…….The firm said on Monday that results from its phase three trials were due later this year: It added: “Valneva has worked tirelessly, and to its best efforts, on the collaboration with HMG including investing significant resources and effort to respond to HMG’s requests for variant-derived vaccines.”………The company hopes that, dependent on the results of its continuing trials and sign-off from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, initial approval could still be granted in 2021: Its vaccine is expected to be given as two doses and contains a dead version of coronavirus that cannot cause disease, but should teach the body’s immune system how to fight it: But given that it is not yet approved for use by UK regulators, it will not affect the current rollout of jabs.
Speaking to BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland, Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We have enough supply even for a booster programme. I want to give absolute confidence to anyone listening that we have the supplies necessary to continue to vaccinate and particularly with a booster programme on the horizon.” …..Mr Yousaf said that while the announcement would be a big set-back for the Livingston plant, he would speak to Valneva to discuss its future.Valneva said on Monday that it would also look to other potential customers to ensure that the vaccines can still be used in the fight against the pandemic.The Scottish Health Secretary added that he was waiting for further information from the UK government over Valneva’s alleged failure to meet the terms of its contract.The Department for Health did not immediately respond to the BBC’s request for comment.
#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.11: The unnamed suspect, a failed asylum seeker housed by the priest, turned himself in and confessed, reports say: The 40-year-old man is also suspected of starting a fire that seriously damaged the cathedral in nearby Nantes in July last year….
#AceDailyNews says that a suspect in Nantes cathedral fire has been held over French priest’s killing after the body of Olivier Maire was found in the village of Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre in the Vendée area on Monday morning.
French President Emmanuel Macron praised the “generosity” of Fr Maire and said his thoughts were with all Catholics in France.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin echoed those sentiments and visited the area later in the day.The killing has sparked political debate about why the suspect was still in France.
On Twitter Mr Darmanin criticised a post by far-right politician Marine Le Pen, who asked why the man suspected over the Nantes fire had not been deported.Mr Darmanin said that although the asylum request had been rejected, the suspect could not be expelled while being investigated on charges of arson: French reports say the suspect was involved in the fire at Nantes cathedral in July 2020:
The suspect, who worked as a volunteer warden at the cathedral, was charged after reportedly admitting to starting the fire…………..He was detained until May this year and later transferred to a psychiatric hospital. Fr Maire, 60, had been welcoming the man into his church for several months, French media say.
Sister Dorothee Harushinana told Reuters news agency that the priest “close to the people. You could always call on him.”Last year’s fire destroyed stained glass windows and the grand organ in the cathedral. It came months after the devastating 2019 fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.The blaze destroyed stained glass windows and the grand organ..
#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
#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.
#AceNewsReport – July.02: A married father who did commercial work for a Dubai-based company, Hamahmi rushed at a group of soldiers patrolling the Louvre area early on February 3, 2017, armed with a machete in each hand and wearing a T-shirt with a skull motif.
France: Machete-wielding man who attacked soldiers outside Louvre while screaming ‘Allahu akbar’ gets 30 years Egyptian who carried out attack outside Louvre sent to prison,” by Elad Benari, Arutz Sheva, June 25, 2021 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
Judges issued a sentence in line with anti-terror prosecutors’ demands for Egyptian citizen Abdalla El Hamahmi, 33, who did not react from behind his coronavirus mask as it was read out to him via an interpreter.
Shouting “Allahu Akbar”, he wounded one soldier on the scalp before himself being severely wounded when the patrol opened fire.
Hamahmi insisted throughout the trial that he had planned to protest against French policy in Syria by destroying art masterpieces inside the Louvre Museum, which houses thousands of works including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
He claimed to have been surprised to encounter soldiers, who have patrolled central Paris since a wave of Islamist terrorist attacks that killed more than 250 in France from 2015. He said that he attacked them “as a reflex”, saying he was acting “like a robot”.
During the trial, Hamahmi attempted to deny the authenticity of a video in which he swore allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group. However, he later admitted that he tried to join ISIS in the Middle East before turning his sights on France….
#AceNewsReport – June.21: The pair were reportedly travelling at high speed, and did not stop: The public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into homicide aggravated by failure to provide help.
PARIS: ‘Police search for two e-scooter riders after pedestrian killed: The 31-year-old victim, an Italian citizen named only as Miriam, was walking along the Seine early on Monday when she was hit’
The victim, who was reportedly walking with a friend, hit her head on the pavement and suffered cardiac arrest. Divers from the river police patrolling the Seine gave her emergency medical treatment, and managed to restart her heart after 30 minutes.
She was taken unconscious to hospital, where she remained in a coma until her death on Wednesday. Originally from the region of Capalbio, in Tuscany, she worked as a waitress in a small Italian restaurant.
The incident happened at 01:00 local time on the Voie Georges-Pompidou on the right bank, near the Pont au Change bridge. Police have appealed for witnesses and are examining CCTV footage from the area.
The case has renewed the debate over e-scooters in Paris, where there have been concerns for the safety of pedestrians.
They can travel at more than 50km/h (30mph), and are growing in popularity, in part because of their low environmental impact.
In the UK, London has become the latest city to trial e-scooters. More than 30 areas – including Newcastle, Bristol and Bournemouth – are already operating rental schemes.E-scooters have been introduced to six London boroughs after trials in 30 towns and cities across the UK
#AceNewsReport – June.19: This time it was only a glimpse of blonde hair at the heart of the scrum that gave it away, as the head of France’s far-right party inched slowly through Brusc market near Toulon, posing for selfies with her supporters every few yards:
FRANCE: France’s Le Pen on track for regional power with an eye on presidency and not so long ago, a walkabout by French far-right leader would announce itself with some heckling, maybe a protester or two, a few tight lips among observers, and the sense of wary curiosity that surrounds someone outside the political mainstream.
By Lucy Williamson BBC Paris correspondent
“You’re virtually on home turf here!” one journalist shouted to Mrs Le Pen as she toured the Côte d’Azur. Behind her, ripe cherries were piled high on the stalls, and bottles of olive oil glinted in the sun.
“I tend to think I’m on home turf everywhere,” she responded drily.
Winning in a vast region like this, with a budget of billions, would mark a turning point for her party, which currently controls just a dozen town halls in France and only one city.
Dry run for 2022 race against Macron
This is also a crucial test of the party’s electoral strategy ahead of the presidential race next spring, when Marine Le Pen is again tipped to face President Emmanuel Macron in the second round.
In both elections, her strategy rests on winning over mainstream conservatives. Mr Macron needs to do much the same, setting the stage for a battle over France’s traditional centre right.
No accident, then, that the National Rally’s regional candidate for this coastal region, Thierry Mariani, used to be a member of the main centre-right Republicans party.
Thierry Mariani is favourite to win the key southern PACA region for Ms Le Pen’s National Rally
No accident either that Marine Le Pen has worked hard to appear electable and politically safe, emphasising the party’s “calm” and “responsible” approach to change, and lecturing government ministers on upholding democratic principles.
In the market, Rose pauses her shopping to confide that the party’s new image is indeed winning over some conservatives.
There are a lot of people around me, right-wingers like me, who are going to try the National Rally
Centre-right incumbent Renaud Muselier has warned that the party’s new image is a front and that Mr Mariani is a “Trojan horse”. In a TV debate with Mr Mariani this week, he called his rival and former colleague a “puppet” and said he was being manipulated by the far right. Adding to the sensitivity, the government last month announced that President Macron’s party, La République En Marche, would not be running its own list of candidates for the elections in PACA, but would instead be lending its support to Mr Muselier. ReutersThe president’s party has thrown its weight behind the Republicans’ candidate Renaud MuselierThe National Rally are making the most of it.”Real” right-wing voters were being turned off the centre right, Thierry Mariani told journalists this week, by a list of candidates that was “more and more the list of Macron”. Difficult vote for Macron’s party France’s governing party is contesting its first regional election. Formed just five years ago, it so far has few roots at the local level. Polls suggest it’s possible that La République En Marche won’t win a region at all. “We’re new,” said Marlène Schiappa, the minister in charge of citizenship who is the party’s top candidate in Paris. “We don’t have officials already elected, yet we’re always second or third in the polls. We’re on an upward trajectory.” Getty ImagesMarlène Schiappa argues that France’s political mainstream should unite against the far rightAlliances made sense in some places, she told us, and given the threat posed by the far right, France’s traditional parties should “ally to form a collective block against [them]”. The National Rally is currently predicted to win around 40% of the vote here on Sunday. That’s pretty much the score it won in the first round of the last regional elections in 2015, only to be defeated in the run-off by other parties working together to keep them from power.
Le Pen shatter ‘glass ceiling’?The pattern is so familiar to the National Rally that pollsters have nicknamed it their “glass ceiling”. But some believe that glass ceiling is now starting to fracture, as voters demand change, and concerns over security and immigration increase. “For a long time, a vote for the National Rally was a vote of protest against mainstream parties,” says Jean-Philippe Dubrulle of the Ifop polling agency. “That’s changed since Emmanuel Macron’s victory [in 2017] erased mainstream parties.
Now you have a situation where, if you don’t agree with Mr Macron – and a majority of French don’t agree with him – the most efficient way to express that is to vote for Marine Le Pen.” President Macron was slapped in the face on a visit to south-eastern France earlier this monthAt least one of the stallholders in the market thinks it’s all over-stated. “There’s always talk around election-time of a win for Le Pen, but it never actually comes,” he told me, declining to give his name.”People say they’re going to vote for them now, but at the last minute they won’t. We have bad memories of the party and its racist past.”
If he’s right, that’s a change in itself. It used to be the case that Le Pen supporters were shy of sharing their intentions, while voting for her in private. The first signs of how much really has changed will come on Sunday, but the proof will have to wait for the run-off in a week’s time. The whole point of a glass ceiling is that you can’t see it. Until it’s tested, it’s not easy to see when it’s gone.
#AceNewsReport – May.31: According to reports say the unnamed man is around 30 years old, has a history of domestic violence, and is armed with a high-calibre weapon:
FRANCE: MANHUNT: ‘For armed ex-soldier who fired on police: Helicopters, dog teams and more than 300 officers are searching for the man around the town of Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare in the Dordogne region: Interior minister Gérald Darmanin tweeted that the police and local authorities were using “all means” to protect the local population, adding that more than 300 officers are now actively involved in the search’
16 hours ago
The local government has urged residents to stay indoors.
“The man went overnight to his ex-partner’s home. A dispute took place there, which led to the intervention of gendarmes and that is when the suspect shot at them. He then fled to woods nearby,” prefect of Dordogne Frédéric Périssat told BFM television.
Mr Périssat added that the man is within a four sq km (1.5 sq mile) “hilly, wooded area” cordoned off by police.
Franceinfo reports the incident started on Saturday night, when the man attacked his ex’s new partner. He reportedly shot the new partner, who fled the scene. His ex and her children were not injured and are now under police protection, authorities said.
When police arrived, he fired at officers and their vehicles before fleeing into the woods. So far there have been no police casualties, although several vehicles have been damaged.
Getty ImagesOfficers have set up a perimeter around the town of Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare in the Dordogne region
Le Lardin-Saint-Lazare Mayor Francine Bourra told BFM that the suspect had been released from prison and was wearing an electronic bracelet. He was prohibited from visiting his former partner’s home, she said.
“I believe that unfortunately [the situation] can last a long time,” Ms Bourra told the channel, adding that the suspect was “not at all inclined to dialogue and not ready to surrender”.
Helicopters and armoured vehicles are taking part in the search
Officers have closed off roads around the town and set up a security perimeter. The gunman has reportedly fired on the helicopter that is flying over the wooded area, and officer André Pétillot told BFM that he was armed with a high-calibre weapon “which can kill at long distances”.
Mr Pétillot also told the channel that the suspect “is looking to be killed by the police”, and urged him to surrender.
The previous letter, signed by a handful of officers and some 20 semi-retired generals, sparked a furore in France, with the prime minister calling it an unacceptable interference and France’s top general vowing that those behind it would be punished.
It is not clear how many people are behind the current letter or what their ranks are.
In contrast to the previous letter, it is also open to be signed by the public, with Valeurs Actuelles saying more than 93,000 had done so by Monday morning.
“We are not talking about extending your mandates or conquering others. We are talking about the survival of our country, the survival of your country,” said the letter, which was addressed to Macron and his cabinet.
The authors described themselves as active-duty soldiers from the younger generation of the military, a so-called “generation of fire” that had seen active service.
“They have offered up their lives to destroy the Islamism that you have made concessions to on our soil.”
They claimed also to have served in the Sentinelle security operation within France launched after a wave of jihadist attacks in 2015.
They observed that for some religious communities “France means nothing but an object of sarcasm, contempt or even hatred”.
It added: “If a civil war breaks out, the military will maintain order on its own soil […] civil war is brewing in France and you know it perfectly well.”
‘Is this courage?
The letter comes in a febrile political atmosphere ahead of the 2022 elections when Macron’s main challenger is expected to again be the far-right leader Marine Le Pen.
Analysts say Macron has tacked to the right in recent months to prevent Le Pen from exploiting a series of attacks in late 2020 blamed on Islamist extremists who recently immigrated to France.
“I believe that when you are in the military you don’t do this kind of thing in hiding,” Darmanin told BFM television. “These people are anonymous. Is this courage? To be anonymous?”
Former president Francois Hollande weighed in on the debate, expressing bewilderment that such sentiments could be expressed by serving soldiers.
“How can we suggest that the army today could have such feelings and a desire to question the very principles of the Republic?” he told France Inter radio.
Prime Minister Jean Castex had labelled the rare intervention in politics by military figures in last month’s letter “an initiative against all of our republican principles, of honour and the duty of the army”.
France’s armed forces chief of staff, General Francois Lecointre, said those who signed it would face punishments ranging from forced full retirement to disciplinary action.
#AceNewsReport May.07: She is the 39th woman to be killed by a partner or ex-partner this year: Hundreds gathered in Mérignac near Bordeaux on Wednesday, laying flowers and paying tribute to the victim:
FRANCE: 39th Victim Killed: Calls for action on guns after woman’s street killing: ‘Chahinez, a 31-year old mother-of-three, was shot and set alight by her husband, less than a year after he was sentenced for domestic violence’
1 hour ago
“Horrified by this heinous crime, I extend my sincere support to the family of the victim,” France’s Minister for Citizenship Marlène Schiappa wrote on Twitter. “The fight against domestic violence and femicide continues.”
The French rights group, La Fondation des Femmes (the Women’s Foundation), says guns are used in a third of killings of women by current or former partners or family members.
“The law encourages police to confiscate weapons from the perpetrators of domestic violence. And for good reason: every year, a third of femicides are carried out using a firearm,” the organisation said in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the killing of a woman by a current or former partner or a family member.
But the Women’s Foundation said that its “repeated warnings” about guns in the hands of violent partners had been ignored by the interior ministry: “What we feared has therefore happened again.”
EPATributes were left outside the woman’s home
Chahinez was already separated from her husband when the attack took place on Tuesday evening.
He arrived at her home in Mérignac, close to Bordeaux in south-western France, shot her in the legs as she tried to run away and then set her on fire.
Last June the suspect had been sentenced to 18 months in prison, half of which was suspended, according to prosecutors in Bordeaux.
Under the terms of his release, he was banned from approaching his former partner or her home.
AFPLa Fondation des Femmes president Anne-Cécile Mailfert has called on the government to act
The Women’s Foundation has also raised questions about why the man was not wearing an electronic tag.
Anne-Cécile Mailfert, the organisation’s president, told France Info that only around 40 electronic bracelets had been distributed during the previous year, despite the government approving their use to prevent violent partners from breaking restraining orders.
What is France doing to address violence against women?
The issue of femicide in France came to the fore in 2019, when thousands took the streets to protest the issue of gender-based violence.
A total of 146 women were killed by their spouse or partner that year, according to France’s justice minister.
#AceNewsReport – May.05: Ahead of the vote, Extinction Rebellion described the legislation as a “lie of the state” and called on lawmakers to reject its passage. Its objection to the bill centers on the removal of key measures before it was put before MPs. The group claims France’s industrial sector lobbied for the removal of many of the proposals, with only a few remaining:
In footage shared online, police officers could be seen stamping out the fires and dragging protesters away.
Some journalists were also reportedly pushed back by police.
Members of the National Assembly were also reported to have attended the demonstrations, including left-wing lawmaker Adrien Quatennens, who was filmed talking to police.
The draft legislation was approved on Tuesday at a first reading, but still needs the backing of the Senate.
It will then go back to the lower house, where it is likely to receive assent by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist majority.
The bill includes a ban on short-haul domestic flights that can be taken by train, curbs on landlords renting out poorly insulated properties, and the prohibition of outdoor heaters on restaurant terraces.
Other proposed measures include forcing state-run schools to offer meat-free menus, vetoing the construction of new airports, and clamping down on the use of plastic in supermarket packaging.
The French government has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to its 1990 levels, but this target has been criticized as too low by environmental groups.
The executive director of Greenpeace France, Jean-Francois Julliard, said on Tuesday that the new draft law would “not be enough to effectively tackle global warming.”
#AceNewsReport – May.01: An estimated 20,000 people took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to protest the lack of a trial for the man who allegedly murdered 65-year-old Sarah Halimi in 2017, it is claimed, by pushing her out of the window of her Paris apartment while shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
Left-Wing Politicians Jeered at Rally For Murdered Jewish Woman: Several protests in support of Halimi were held in other cities in France, such as Montpellier, according to a report by the French weekly magazineL’Obs. Protests were also held in Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
TOPSHOT – People gather to ask justice for late Sarah Halimi on Trocadero plaza in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on April 25, 2021. – Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman, died in 2017 after being pushed out of the window of her Paris flat by neighbour Traore, 27, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic). Traore, a heavy cannabis smoker, has been in psychiatric care since Halimi’s death and he remains there after the ruling. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP) (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)
Chris Tomlinson: Apr 2021GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images
Former Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, a leading member of Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche! (LREM), also attended the rally and was reportedly booed by participants, according to a Tweet from French journalist Remy Buisine.
No Trial For ‘Allahu Akbar’ Man Over Death of Jewish Woman on Account of His Heavy Marijuana Use https://t.co/N0uVrLBKxp
The protest came after Paris’s top court ruled that Kobili Traoré, Halimi’s alleged killer, would not face trial in connection with the murder,upholding previous court rulings that had determined Traoré’s excessive marijuana use had triggered a “delirious episode” and he was not criminally responsible.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced that a street in the city would be named after Halimi. President of Licra (the International League against Racism and Antisemitism) Mario Stasi had reportedly asked for a street to be named after Halimi following the top court ruling.
Mayor Hidalgo called for a trial in the case of Halimi and said during the Paris protest: “Antisemitism is a plague. It is a scourge that undermines the foundations of our Republic.”
French alternative news blog FDesouche claims Hidalgo was also booed at the rally, citing social media video recorded at the scene.
Francis Kalifat of the Jewish group CRIF had previously commented on Halimi’s case, saying: “We do not understand the determination and procrastination that consistently seeks to turn this killer into a demented person, when he is a murderer whose presumed detention doesn’t even hide his hateful anti-Semitism.”
#AceNewsReport – Apr.24: The assailant, identified as a 36-year-old Tunisian national, was immediately “neutralized” by the victim’s fellow officers, who shot him, a police source close to the investigation told NBC News, adding that he died from his injuries. His name was not released:
Terror investigation launched after female police officer stabbed to death in police HQ and the country has lost one of its everyday heroines in a barbaric gesture of infinite cowardice,” said French Prime Minister Jean Castex.
24 Apr, 2021 11:05
France’s top officials have reiterated their pledge to continue fighting terrorism in the aftermath of the killing of a policewoman by a suspected Islamist outside of Paris. A terror inquiry into the incident has been launched.
The victim, aged 49, died from her wounds.
France’s National Police named her as Stephanie M. in a tweet, which called her killing “cowardly.” As an administrative officer she would not work on the street but in an office.
President Emmanuel Macron also paid tribute to her on Twitter. “In the fight against Islamist terrorism, we will not give up,” he wrote.
Anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told a news conference that his office took over the probe because the attacker had staked out the station, because of statements he made during the attack and because he targeted a police official.
He did not provide details on the motive.
The source close to the investigation said the assailant cried “Allahu Akbar” when he attacked.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin visited the scene of the attack in the small town to the southwest of Paris known for a grandiose former royal estate.
“France has lost one of its everyday heroines in a barbaric gesture of infinite cowardice,” Castex told reporters at the scene. “To her loved ones, I want to express the support of the whole nation. To our security forces, I want to say that I share their emotion and their indignation.”
“Our determination is more intact than ever to fight against terrorism in all its forms,” he said at a subsequent news conference.
France has seen deadly attacks against police in the past, including some by Islamic extremists or Islamist-inspired individuals in recent years. Around 250 people have been killed.
Tackling religious extremism, domestic security and notions of French identity are likely to be important issues in the presidential election next year.
Friday’s attack was six months after an Islamist teenager beheaded a schoolteacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, another Paris satellite town after he showed students and offensive image of the Prophet Muhammad.
The French capital was also rocked by multiple gun-and-bomb attacks on entertainment sites around the city in November 2015, which left 130 people dead and 368 wounded. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, although two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three others were French.
Factbox-Deadly attacks in France:
Factbox-Deadly attacks in France:
(Reuters) – An attacker with a knife stabbed to death a female police worker in Rambouillet, near Paris on Friday.
Here are some other attacks that have taken place in France
Oct 29, 2020 – A knife-wielding Tunisian man shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a church in the French city of Nice before being shot and taken away by police.
Oct. 16, 2020 – School teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded on the street of a Paris suburb. Paty had shown his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression, angering some Muslim parents. Muslims believe that any depiction of the Prophet is blasphemous. Police shot dead the 18-year-old attacker of Chechen origin.
Sept. 15, 2020 – Two people were stabbed and wounded in Paris near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, where Islamist militants carried out a deadly attack in 2015. A man originally from Pakistan was arrested over the attack.
Oct. 3, 2019 – Mickael Harpon, 45, an IT specialist with security clearance to work in the Paris police headquarters, killed three police officers and one civilian employee before being shot dead by police. He had converted to Islam 10 years earlier.
March 23, 2018 – A gunman killed three people in southwestern France after holding up a car, firing on police and taking hostages in a supermarket. Security forces stormed the building and killed him.
July 26, 2016 – Two attackers killed a priest and seriously wounded another hostage in a church in northern France before being shot dead by police. Francois Hollande, France’s president at the time, said the hostage-takers had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
July 14, 2016 – A gunman drove a heavy truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice, killing 86 people and injuring scores more in an attack claimed by Islamic State. The attacker was identified as a Tunisian-born Frenchman.
June 14, 2016 – A Frenchman of Moroccan origin stabbed a police commander to death outside his home in a Paris suburb and killed his partner, who also worked for the police. The attacker told police he was answering an appeal by Islamic State.
Nov. 13, 2015 – Paris was rocked by multiple gun and bomb attacks on entertainment sites around the city, in which 130 people were killed and 368 wounded. Islamic State said it was responsible. Two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three were French.
Jan. 7-9, 2015 – Two Islamist militant gunmen broke into satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s offices on Jan. 7 and killed 12 people. Another militant killed a policewoman the next day and took hostages at a supermarket on Jan. 9, killing four before police shot him dead.
By Nancy Ing and Henry AustinApril 23, 2021, 1:50 PM EDTA police officer stands guard in the area where an attacker stabbed a female police administrative worker, in Rambouillet, near Paris on Friday.Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
Nancy Ing is a Paris-based producer.Henry Austin is a London-based editor for NBC News Digital: Nancy Ing reported from Paris and Henry Austin from London. Nancy Ing
#AceNewsReport – Nov.28: The protests were organized in many large French cities, including Paris, Marseilles, Lyon, Brest and Nice, with thousands participating despite Covid-19 concerns. The main event is happening in the Place de la République in the capital:
The demonstrators are voicing their anger over a draft law on public security, which was approved by the lower chamber of the parliament this week: Article 24 of the bill bans filming of police officers on duty with an intention to harm them. Lawmakers who voted for the bill are among the officials who were shamed by the protesters:
Sur le trajet de la #marchesdeslibertes, les portraits des députés qui ont voté pour le projet de loi sécurité globale.
The reasoning behind the provision, which introduces a fine of €45,000 ($53,450) or even a one-year jail term, is that members of the force need to be protected from doxxing and online harassment: Critics say it curtails journalistic freedoms and would be used to intimidate people who want to expose police brutality and other forms of misconduct:
The protests were organised by unions, but they have many supporters: The Yellow Vests movement, which was sparked by growing social and economic inequality and for months remained a major problem for President Emmanuel Macron, is among them:
There is also a component of racism in why the proposed law sparked so much anger. Police abuse of people of color became more visible thanks to the spread of mobile phones with good cameras and social media:
One such incident, which was filmed on CCTV rather than a personal device, went viral this week after the footage was leaked online: It showed French police beat and racially abuse a black man, apparently for not wearing a face mask: Police have also been slammed for their heavy-handed tactics in clearing a migrant camp in central Paris earlier this week:
#AceNewsReport – Nov.21: The rally, which went on amid a heightened police presence at the Trocadero Square near the Eiffel Tower, was organized by Reporters without Borders, Amnesty International as well as other human rights groups and journalist unions. Opponents of the Global Security Bill insist that it’s a major infringement on the freedom of the press: Activists carried banners decrying the law, chanted slogans, while also singing La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. Some in the crowd sported yellow vests, a symbol of the larger protest movement against economic injustice across France:
The rally was staged despite a national lockdown and a ban on public gatherings, in an attempt to stem a second wave of the coronavirus. Many demonstrators neglected social distancing rules and the government’s order to wear face masks:
The rally went on peacefully for hours, but tensions began rising after dark when some demonstrators started setting trash bins on fire: The protesters threw bottles and other objects at riot police, an RT France correspondent reported from the scene:
Smaller protests against the law were also held in Marseille, Lille, Montpellier and other French cities on the day.
The Global Security Bill, which is pushed forward by the government of President Emmanuel Macron, among other things criminalizes the distribution of images of law enforcers by both the public and the media. A violation could carry a one-year prison sentence or a €45,000 fine.
The legislation got the greenlit from the National Assembly on Friday and is expected to be approved by the Senate next week.
In response to the criticism, Prime Minister, Jean Castex, assured that the bill “won’t impede the freedom of information,” but will only focus on images shared with “clear” intent to harm a police officer.
Videos of police using excessive force against demonstrators and criminal suspects have recently caused a vast public outcry in France: The most vivid incident was the death of Paris man, Cédric Chouviat, in January, which strongly resembled what happened to George Floyd in the US: Chouviat, a 42-year-old father of five, was filmed shouting “I’m suffocating” as he was held down by seven officers. The probe into the case saw three officers charged with manslaughter:
#AceNewsReport – July.14: Organisers have associated this Sunday’s protest with the symbolism of Bastille Day; this year marks the 230th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, which started the French Revolution: The wave of yellow vest rallies started in France in mid-November over planned hikes in fuel taxes. While the French government has abandoned its plans to raise fuel taxes and introduced other measures to improve the country’s socioeconomic situation, protesters continue to take to the streets across France every weekend for demonstrations to express their discontent with government’s policies: LIVE: #YellowVests hold protest in #Paris on #BastilleDay2019 (video) https://t.co/iODOUp6O9ipic.twitter.com/UXysnTfzUG — Sputnik (@SputnikInt) July 14, 2019:Riot police and anti-government protesters faced off during Bastille Day celebrations in Paris: Dozens of people were arrested, with calls for president Emmanuel Macron to resign again being chanted out loud: RT World News https://ift.tt/2xKdNBZ
Reuters” Undocumented migrants are surrounded by police during the protest
Hundreds of undocumented migrants have stormed the Panthéon in Paris and demanded the right to remain in France: The protesters, who were mainly from West Africa, surged into the building at around midday (11:00 GMT) on Friday.
Tourists were evacuated from the mausoleum, where many of France’s most famous figures are buried: The group called themselves the “black vests” – a reference to the yellow vest protest movement that spread through much of France earlier this year: They waved papers in the air, chanted, and demanded to hold talks with Prime Minister Édouard Philippe over their immigration status:
In a statement, the protest group described themselves as “the undocumented, the voiceless and the faceless of the French Republic” “We don’t want to negotiate with the interior minister and his officials any more, we want to talk to Prime Minister Édouard Philippe now!” it said.
Between 200 and 300 migrants took part in the protest, a police spokesman told Reuters news agency. There were 37 arrests made: But other estimates – from activist groups and witnesses – said as many as 700 people were involved in the demonstration.