French premier joins nationwide tributes to beheaded teacher

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People gather at the Place de la Republique in Paris, to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the French teacher who was beheaded on the streets of the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France, October 18, 2020. Placard reads "I am a Samuel". (Reuters)
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People gather at the Place de la Republique in Paris, to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the French teacher who was beheaded on the streets of the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France, October 18, 2020. (Reuters)
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People gather at the Place de la Republique in Paris, to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the French teacher who was beheaded on the streets of the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France, October 18, 2020. Placard reads "I am a teacher". (Reuters)
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People gather at the Place de la Republique in Paris, to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the French teacher who was beheaded on the streets of the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France, October 18, 2020. (Reuters)
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A man holds the front page of a copy of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo as people gather in Strasbourg, eastern France, on October 18, 2020, in homage to history teacher Samuel Paty two days after he was beheaded by an attacker who was shot dead by policemen. (AFP)
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Updated 18 October 2020

French premier joins nationwide tributes to beheaded teacher

  • Samuel Paty was beheaded on Friday in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine by a 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee

PARIS: France’s prime minister joined demonstrators on Sunday who rallied together across the country in tribute to a history teacher who was beheaded near Paris after discussing caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class.
The demonstrations came hours after US President Donald Trump sent France a message of solidarity in the wake of the attack.
Samuel Paty was beheaded on Friday in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine by a 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee who was shot dead by police.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex stood with citizens, associations and unions demonstrating Sunday on the Place de la Republique in Paris in support of freedom of speech and in memory of the 47-year-old slain teacher.
Some held placards reading “I am Samuel” that echoed the “I am Charlie” rallying cry after the 2015 attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. A moment’s silence was observed across the square, broken by applause and a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.
Demonstrators also gathered in major cities including Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux.
French authorities, meanwhile, say they have detained an 11th person following the killing.
Anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said an investigation for murder with a suspected terrorist motive was opened. At least four of those detained are family members of the attacker, who had been granted 10-year residency in France as a refugee in March, was armed with a knife and an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.
His half-sister joined the Daesh group in Syria in 2014, Ricard said. He didn’t give her name, and it wasn’t clear where she is now.
The prosecutor said a text claiming responsibility and a photograph of the victim were found on the suspect’s phone. He also confirmed that a Twitter account under the name Abdoulakh A belonged to the suspect. It posted a photo of the decapitated head minutes after the attack along with the message “I have executed one of the dogs from hell who dared to put Muhammad down.”
The beheading has upset moderate French Muslims and a group of imams in the Lyon region are holding a special meeting Sunday to discuss what the group called “the appalling assassination of our compatriot by a terrorist who in the name of an uncertain faith committed the irreparable.”
The head of the world’s largest body of Muslim-majority nations has also condemned the killing. In a statement Sunday by the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the office of the general secretary, Yousef Al-Othaimeen, reiterated the OIC’s “well-known position of rejecting all forms of extremism, radicalization and terrorism for any reason or motive.”
The attack has provoked a strong international rebuke. US President Donald Trump addressed the killing Saturday night from a political rally in Janesville, Wisconsin.
“On behalf of the United States, I’d like to extend my really sincere condolences to a friend of mine, President (Emmanuel) Macron of France, where they just yesterday had a vicious, vicious Islamic terrorist attack — beheading an innocent teacher near Paris,” he said. “France is having a hard time and Macron’s a great guy.”
 


Russia proposes new missile verification regime with US after demise of treaty

Updated 48 min 18 sec ago

Russia proposes new missile verification regime with US after demise of treaty

  • The United States withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year

MOSCOW: The Kremlin on Monday proposed that Russia and the United States agree not to deploy certain land-based missiles in Europe and introduce mutual verification measures to build trust following the demise of the INF nuclear arms control treaty.
The United States withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year, accusing Moscow of violating it, a charge denied by the Kremlin.
Global nuclear arms control architecture has come under further strain since then as the former Cold War foes have been unable to agree on a replacement to New START, another major arms control pact that is due to expire in February 2021.
On Monday, the Kremlin suggested “de-escalation” measures, such as allowing Russia to conduct checks on the US Aegis Ashore system in Europe, and the United States to check Russia’s 9M729 missiles in facilities in the exclave of Kaliningrad.
“We propose all interested sides to consider concrete options for mutual verification measures to remove existing concerns,” the Kremlin said in a statement on its website.
The INF pact had prohibited land-based missiles with a range of 310-3,400 miles, reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.