Macron, Trudeau deepen ‘bromance’ in Paris

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to onlookers following a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Macron, Trudeau deepen ‘bromance’ in Paris

  • The two young leaders, both progressives in their 40s, spoke warmly of their ties.
  • Macron and Trudeau see each other as natural allies in a world increasingly shaped by right-wing nationalism.

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed their common vision and the strength of their personal friendship as they met in Paris on Monday.
The two young leaders, both progressives in their 40s, exchanged a hug on the steps of the Elysee Palace and spoke warmly of their ties afterwards at a press conference that ended with them leaving the room with their arms across each other’s backs.
Macron and Trudeau see each other as natural allies in a world increasingly shaped by right-wing nationalism which has gathered strength in Europe and the United States, as well as in Russia, Turkey and China.
“We have an extremely close convergence of views,” Macron said during the press conference, which came after a working lunch and talks with Trudeau.
Trudeau, speaking mostly in French, ended his remarks lauding the “friendship” between the two leaders — a contrast with the often difficult relationship he has with his North American neighbor, US President Donald Trump.
“Canada, France and Europe are extremely aligned,” he said.
Talks included trade, the war in Syria and an upcoming summit of G7 countries which will be hosted by Canada in June.
Trudeau and Macron’s first meeting as leaders came in May last year when they were photographed together at a meeting of G7 countries in the dreamy setting of Taormina, a hillside town in Sicily.
It led to widespread commentary about the “bromance” between the two married liberals — as well as jokes online that they looked like they had gone to Sicily for their wedding photographs.


Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

Updated 25 April 2018
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Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday found a high-profile spiritual guru Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a teenage female devotee in 2013 and he faces a maximum of life in prison.
The verdict against 77-year-old Bapu was read out inside a prison in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan state because of fears that his followers may resort to violence.
The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fueled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims.
In August last year, another popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru, Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.
Judge Madhusudhan Sharma will announce the prison term for Bapu later after hearing arguments from the prosecution and Bapu’s attorneys.
Bapu has denied the rape and can appeal his conviction in a higher court.
The girl in her complaint to the police in 2013 accused Bapu of raping her when she visited his retreat in Jodhpur with her mother. The girl’s family said they had been followers of Bapu for more than a decade.
Bapu has been in prison since his arrest in the case in 2013.
On Wednesday, security was tight around the prison complex and in states where the self-styled guru has a considerable following.
Religious sects also wield considerable political clout in India with several politicians as followers. Asaram is also on trial along with his son Narayan Sai in a separate rape case where two sisters have accused the two men of sexual assault.