Man who slapped Macron to stand trial on Thursday

Man who slapped Macron to stand trial on Thursday
French President Emmanuel Macron. (File/AFP)
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Updated 10 June 2021

Man who slapped Macron to stand trial on Thursday

Man who slapped Macron to stand trial on Thursday
  • Tarel’s attack on the president stunned the country
  • The unemployed 28-year-old said during interrogation that he had been close to the anti-government “yellow vest” protest movement

PARIS: Damien Tarel, the medieval martial arts enthusiast who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron across the face, will go before a judge in a fast-track trial on Thursday.

Tarel had acknowledged striking Macron while the president was on a visit to a professional training college, but told investigators it was not premeditated, local prosecutor Alex Perrin said in a statement.

The unemployed 28-year-old said during interrogation that he had been close to the anti-government “yellow vest” protest movement which shook the Macron presidency, and held ultra-right wing political beliefs.

“He maintained that he acted out of impulse and ‘without thinking’ to express his discontent,” Perrin said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Tarel’s attack on the president stunned the country. Macron later described it as an isolated incident and said violence and hate were a threat to democracy.

The president had been on a trip to the Drome region in the southeast to take the country’s pulse after the pandemic and with less than a year to go before the next presidential election.

Acquaintances of Tarel described a man who loved period role-play and was not a trouble-maker. The prosecutor said he was not a member of any political or militant group.

Tarel was arrested along with a second man from his hometown of Saint-Vallier. Police found weapons, a copy of Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto Mein Kampf and a red flag with golden sickle and mortar that is the international symbol of the communist movement in the second man’s home, Perrin said.

The second man will not face any charges related to the slapping but will be prosecuted for illegal possession of arms in 2022.


Arab-Israeli influencer Nuseir Yassin gets backlash for attempt to monetize protected Philippine cultural tradition

Arab-Israeli influencer Nuseir Yassin gets backlash for attempt to monetize protected Philippine cultural tradition
Updated 1 min 48 sec ago

Arab-Israeli influencer Nuseir Yassin gets backlash for attempt to monetize protected Philippine cultural tradition

Arab-Israeli influencer Nuseir Yassin gets backlash for attempt to monetize protected Philippine cultural tradition
  • Nas Academy offers the Philippine traditional tattooing course for $15

DUBAI: Arab-Israeli social media influencer Nuseir Yassin, who runs the Nas Daily vlog, has received backlash for his attempt to monetize a protected cultural tradition in the northern Philippines.

Nas Daily, which gained traction on Facebook and YouTube for featuring light and positively-vibed one-minute videos, has earlier launched an online class under its Nas Academy brand on the ancient art of tattooing.

The course features Whang-Od, the Philippines’ last and oldest mambabatok or traditional tattooist of her tribe.

The 105-year-old Whang-Od is part of the Butbut people of the larger Kalinga ethnic group, who were once known as fierce headhunters whose warriors received markings on their bodies to celebrate their victories against their enemies.

Nas Academy offered the traditional tattooing course for $15. It includes three videos, ranging from four and a half minutes to over 18 minutes long.

The course was then removed after Apo Whang-od’s grandniece Grace Palicas slammed the vlogging site as a “scam”.

“WARNING!!! Whang Od Academy is a scam. My grandmother did not sign any contract with @NasDaily to do any academy. Some people are taking advantage of our culture. PLEASE HELP US STOP this disrespect to the legacy of Apo Whang Od and the Butbot Tribe,” Palicas posted in the Facebook group Tattooed by Apo Whang-Od.

Well-known social media personality and lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles, who also specializes in heritages issues and concerns, said in a Facebook post that “Nas Daily and Nas Academy attempted to make money from the cultural manifestations of the Kalinga indigenous cultural community by featuring the manner and works of Apo Whang Od.”

“This violates the Indigenous People’s Rights Act, in particular Sec. 16 Rule VI of the IRR pursuant to Sec. 29 of the law,” she wrote, which pertains to state protection of indigenous culture, traditions and institutions.

Nas Academy on Thursday maintained that the Whang-Od consented to the online course, as she herself affixed her thumbprint in the contract, “signifying her full consent” to the Whang-Od Academy.

“This is the clearest evidence that it is not a scam and achieved the consent of her and her immediate family,” Nas Academy’s statement said.


Fears grow for Iranian dual-national prisoners ahead of Raisi inauguration

Fears grow for Iranian dual-national prisoners ahead of Raisi inauguration
Updated 7 min 47 sec ago

Fears grow for Iranian dual-national prisoners ahead of Raisi inauguration

Fears grow for Iranian dual-national prisoners ahead of Raisi inauguration
  • Iranian news outlets quote official as saying Tehran has “no incentive” for prisoner exchanges
  • UK govt spokesman: “Iran’s continued arbitrary detention of our dual nationals is unacceptable”

LONDON: Iranian media reports that Tehran has cooled interest in prisoner swaps with Western nations has thrown into doubt the release of British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and future relations between the two countries.

The Nour news website quoted a senior Iranian official on Tuesday as saying Tehran had “no incentive” to proceed with proposed prisoner transfers with the US, and a plan with the UK to exchange Zaghari-Ratcliffe for £400 million ($557 million) owed as part of a failed arms deal in 1979 had stalled after London also sought the release of environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, who holds both UK and US citizenship, as part of the negotiations. 

The shift in policy is thought to stem from the impending inauguration of new hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, which is set to take place on Thursday. 

He is accused by a multitude of international bodies of serious human rights violations — including murder, enforced disappearance and torture — during his tenure as head of Iran’s judiciary.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Imam Khomeini International Airport in 2016 on charges of espionage, and imprisoned for “plotting to topple the Iranian government.”

She has repeatedly been denied representation from the UK in her dealings with the Iranian court system, and was sentenced to a further year in prison in April on propaganda charges. She has always denied all allegations made against her.

On Wednesday, an Iranian court sentenced another British-Iranian, Mehran Raouf, to over 10 years in prison on charges of undermining the regime, alongside German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi.

Iran has been accused of engaging in “hostage diplomacy” to achieve various political ends. A UK government spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: “Iran’s continued arbitrary detention of our dual nationals is unacceptable. We urge the Iranian authorities to release the detainees without any further delay.”


India to deploy ‘neutral force’ after deadly internal border clash

India to deploy ‘neutral force’ after deadly internal border clash
Updated 14 min 23 sec ago

India to deploy ‘neutral force’ after deadly internal border clash

India to deploy ‘neutral force’ after deadly internal border clash
  • Six police officers dead and dozens injured in July 26 border clash
  • The two states have been wrangling over their border for decades

NEW DELHI: India will deploy a “neutral force” at the frontier of two states in its north-east, after their long-running border dispute escalated into a deadly showdown, officials said Thursday.

The July 26 clash on the border between Assam and Mizoram left six police officers dead and dozens injured, in a major embarrassment to the central government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a joint statement released Thursday, the governments of both states said a “neutral force” would be deployed by the Indian government in disputed areas.

“For this purpose, both the states shall not send their respective forest and police forces for patrolling, domination, enforcement or for fresh deployment to any of the areas where confrontation and conflict has taken place,” the statement read.

Mizoram was part of Assam until 1972 and became a state in its own right in 1987.

The two states have been wrangling over their border for decades, but such deadly escalations are rare.

The government of Mizoram Thursday also expressed regret — for the first time since the clashes — over the death of the six police from Assam.

Last week, the chief ministers of both states tweeted that they would seek an amicable approach to the dispute.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma belongs to Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party while Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga heads the Mizo National Front — an ally of the ruling BJP alliance.

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Pakistan decides to keep schools open as COVID-19 cases touch new high since April

Pakistan decides to keep schools open as COVID-19 cases touch new high since April
Updated 13 min 28 sec ago

Pakistan decides to keep schools open as COVID-19 cases touch new high since April

Pakistan decides to keep schools open as COVID-19 cases touch new high since April
  • Pakistan reported 5,661 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours, highest single-day rise in infections since April
  • Government says its data analysis shows vaccination helpful in declining the positivity ratio of COVID-19 cases

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reported 5,661 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, a government portal showed on Thursday, the highest number of daily infections recorded since April, and a day after the federal government said it would open schools across the country, except in the southern Sindh province. 

According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the government’s central body dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, of 62,462 tests conducted until Thursday, 5,661 people had tested positive for COVID-19, while the positivity rate rose to 9.06 percent.

 

 

The alarming rise in cases comes as an Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) on Wednesday said schools would remain open in all the provinces except Sindh, Pakistan’s second populous province, whose administration said it would review the coronavirus situation on August 8 and decide on reopening schools and holding exams.

On Thursday, Pakistan also set another record: of administering the highest number of vaccinations in a day - 1.1 million - since the shots began to be rolled out in February.

 

 

The government of Pakistan also urged people on Thursday to get vaccinated, saying an analysis of cases by the NCOC across Pakistan “clearly shows that vaccination is helpful in declining the positivity ratio of Covid-19 cases.”

 

 


Iranian commandos failed to storm tanker after engines disabled: Intelligence source

Iranian commandos failed to storm tanker after engines disabled: Intelligence source
Updated 47 min 45 sec ago

Iranian commandos failed to storm tanker after engines disabled: Intelligence source

Iranian commandos failed to storm tanker after engines disabled: Intelligence source
  • “US and Omani warships turned up and the Iranians got into some boats and went off”
  • Operation took place 5 days after deadly drone strike on tanker blamed on Iran

LONDON: Iranian special forces commandos raided a tanker in the Arabian Sea but failed to divert it to their country after the crew disabled the vessel’s engines, a source with access to intelligence about the incident told The Times.

Iranian Navy operators boarded the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess near the Strait of Hormuz, before fleeing after the ship was rendered inoperable and US, Omani forces approached, the source said.
The operation off the UAE coast on Tuesday took place five days after the Iberian-flagged Mercer Street tanker, operated by an Israeli-linked UK-based company, was attacked by a drone in Omani waters. 
The explosion killed a British Army veteran and a Romanian, both of whom were working on the ship. 
The UN Security Council “must respond to Iran’s destabilising actions and lack of respect for international law,” tweeted UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
The Times’ source said intelligence indicated that “armed Iranians stormed the (Asphalt Princess) vessel and tried to take it back to Iran but the crew scuppered the engines, so that is why it was shown bobbing in the water. Then US and Omani warships turned up and the Iranians got into some boats and went off.”