Archive for October, 2020

Macron says he can ‘understand’ Muslim shock at Prophet Mohammed cartoons, but insists violence is unjustified

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Macron says he can ‘understand’ Muslim shock at Prophet Mohammed cartoons, but insists violence is unjustified

Embattled French president Emmanuel Macron has spoken to Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera to clarify his stance on cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed, saying that he doesn’t support the caricatures, but only protects freedoms.

“I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures, but I will never accept that violence can be justified,” Macron said in the interview.

The president reiterated that he considered it his “duty to protect our freedoms and our rights” in France.

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Police ‘arrest’ Lyon church shooting suspect as mayor says motive ‘still unknown’

However, Macron added that his words on the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed, which angered the Muslims around the globe so much, were misinterpreted. The assumption that he is himself a supporter of the cartoons was wrong, he insisted.

The President also pointed out that the caricatures weren’t published by the French government, but by an independent media outlet without any links to the authorities.

This independent outlet is the controversial Charlie Hebdo magazine. It first published the cartoons in France five years ago; they had originally been drawn for a Danish outlet in 2005. Back then, the move provoked a gun attack on the magazine’s headquarters in Paris, which left 12 people dead.

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Iranian women protest the publications of a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in France and French President Emmanuel Macron's comments outside the French embassy in Tehran Iran October ©  Majid Asgaripour / WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS; inset © AFP / Pascal GUYOT
Muslims are strangely obsessed with cartoons, all while there are very real crimes over which they should be angry at France

In late August, Charlie Hebdo decided to republish the pictures, dedicating it to the beginning of the trial of the accomplices of the 2015 gunmen, and again brought them into the spotlight.

A few weeks ago, French teacher Samuel Paty, who showed his students the Prophet Mohammed cartoons during a freedom-of-speech class, was brutally beheaded by a radicalized Chechen refugee.

Macron reacted to the crime by saying that the publication of the caricatures was in line with the French values and vowed to clampdown on Islamist extremism in the country.

The statement caused outrage among the Muslims in France and abroad, with protests in several countries, as well as boycotts of French goods and accusations against the French leader of Islamophobia.

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Special forces stand guard near the scene of a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice.  © Reuters / Eric Gaillard
Macron's clampdown on radical Islam is backed by most French, but should've been done in more conciliatory way – Austria's ex-FM

An interview with a Muslim outlet like Al-Jazeera was needed so that Macron could “explain his vision in a peaceful manner” and cool down tensions, sources close to the president told Le Parisien.

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Police ‘arrest’ Lyon church shooting suspect as mayor says motive ‘still unknown’

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Police ‘arrest’ Lyon church shooting suspect as mayor says motive ‘still unknown’

French police have reportedly detained the alleged shooter who injured a Greek Orthodox priest using a hunting rifle in the city of Lyon on Saturday as he was locking the church.

The suspect was detained at a diner in the city several hours after the incident, local media reported. He didn’t have the sawn-off hunting rifle, which was allegedly used in the attack, on him.

Lyon's mayor, Gregory Doucet, said that it was still unclear what had  motivated the man to shoot the cleric.

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Shooter injures Greek Orthodox priest in France’s Lyon and flees – police

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Shooter injures Greek Orthodox priest in France’s Lyon and flees – police

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Shooter injures Greek Orthodox priest in France’s Lyon and flees – police

A manhunt is underway in the French city of Lyon, where a gunman shot and injured a Greek Orthodox priest at a church and then fled the scene.

The French Interior Ministry has described in an alert on Twitter an “ongoing situation” in the Place Jean-Macé area in the 7th arrondissement of Lyon. Security forces have been deployed at the scene, it said. The public has been told to avoid the area and follow instructions from the authorities.

The priest was attacked when he was closing the church, at around 4pm local time, police sources told Reuters and BFMTV. He suffered two gunshot wounds, which were described as “life-threatening,” and was receiving treatment on site. Le Parisien has reported the shooter was armed with a sawn-off hunting rifle.

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‘Toxic masculinity’ role model: Woke critics use Sean Connery’s death as chance to remind us he was ‘problematic’

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘Toxic masculinity’ role model: Woke critics use Sean Connery’s death as chance to remind us he was ‘problematic’

It used to be a thing to not speak ill of the dead, but Twitter’s army of armchair social justice warriors couldn’t resist pouncing on the chance to preach about how the late film legend Sean Connery was “problematic” with women.

The Scottish actor, best known as the face of James Bond, passed away at 90 on Saturday. 

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© REUTERS/David Moir/File Photo; SEAN CONNERY in 007, JAMES BOND NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (1983)
Sean Connery, iconic James Bond actor, dies aged 90

The internet was flooded with iconic photographs and gifs of the dashing 007 star as news of his passing spread around the world.

via GIPHY

Then came the devout party-poopers. A coalition of blue-check Twitter users quickly raised the banner of wokeness, rallying sad, frustrated people on the internet to take potshots at the newly-dead giant of cinema.

via GIFER

CBC reporter Deana Sumanac-Johnson described Connery as leaving behind a “complex legacy” and suggested minutes after his death that the legendary Scot must be outed for his “problematic views.”

The brave finger-wagging directed at Connery’s still-warm body was mirrored by countless other self-appointed arbiters of righteousness.

Connery’s Bond, which for many remains the definitive depiction of the character, was “defined by a toxic masculinity that he sadly seemed to exhibit offscreen,” wrote freelance writer and film critic Hanna Ines Flint.

Connery himself “was a deeply flawed man modeling really bad behavior,” political writer David Rothkopf tweeted, while admitting that “he WAS James Bond, a truly great movie star and his passing is the end of an era.”

Others were more blunt: Connery was “a proud wife beater and advocated for violence against women,” gaming writer and developer Samantha Greer said.

Connery’s first wife, Diane Cilento, claims that the Scottish actor physically and verbally abused her while they were married. In a controversial interview, he argued that in certain circumstances it’s justified to slap a woman.

For some, such views guarantee that Connery is not to be mourned. 

One hot take declared that the James Bond star was “beating women in heaven now.”

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When North became South: Precise record of Earth’s last magnetic pole SWITCH created as fresh flip now long overdue

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on When North became South: Precise record of Earth’s last magnetic pole SWITCH created as fresh flip now long overdue

Earth’s magnetic poles have dramatically flipped several times throughout the course of our planet’s history. With another change long overdue, scientists have created the most detailed record yet of the most recent switcheroo.

It sounds unbelievable, but Earth’s poles have routinely reversed every 200,000 to 300,000 years. However, there’s now been no change for around 750,000 years and experts have warned that it’s long over outstanding.

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Illustration © NASA/JSC
Unexplained anomaly weakening Earth’s magnetic field is EVOLVING and SPLITTING in two, warn scientists

The magnetic field is charged by Earth’s molten metal outer core. It's crucial to life on our planet, playing a key role in navigational systems and also providing protection from radiation from outer space.

Approximately 40,000 years ago, it attempted to switch before snapping back into place. This NASA illustration captures the enormous disruption to the field during a reversal:

© NASA

We don’t know much about the effects of such a flip, except that once it is completed, the needle on a compass will tell us that north is south and that south is north. Fresh research has offered a better understanding of the geophysical events leading up to the change and how our planet responded in the aftermath.

The study was conducted by scientists from Japan’s National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR). It reveals that the field became unstable at least 10,000 years before the last direction change actually occurred, and the full reversal process took at least 20,000 years to be completed. 

The research team reached their conclusions after collecting a trove of samples and carrying out paleo and rock magnetic analyses. Yuki Haneda, project researcher at the NIPR, said: “Our data is one of the most detailed paleomagnetic records during the Matuyama-Brunhes geomagnetic reversal, offering deep insight into the mechanism of the geomagnetic reversal.” 

The boffins now plan to figure out how the geomagnetic reversal influenced plankton and plants by studying marine microfossils and pollen data they collected in their samples.

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© Global Look / Carlos Gauna
Earth’s magnetic field is mysteriously acting up, pushing North Pole towards Siberia

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‘Now do Mohammed’? Cheers after Madame Tussauds in Berlin places wax Trump in a dumpster… but not everyone is impressed

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘Now do Mohammed’? Cheers after Madame Tussauds in Berlin places wax Trump in a dumpster… but not everyone is impressed

The Berlin branch of the world’s most famous wax museum has placed its figurine of US President Donald Trump in a garbage-filled dumpster, sparking verbal fisticuffs online.

Madame Tussauds in Berlin, an outpost of the legendary London wax museum, placed its lifelike replica statue of Trump in a dumpster on Friday, apparently in anticipation of the Republican incumbent being defeated by Democratic rival Joe Biden in the November 3 election. 

Orkide Yalcindag, the museum’s marketing director, described the unorthodox curation as “symbolic” and “a preparatory measure.”

The museum appears to have taken pains to publicize the move, with a Reuters photographer snapping photographs of staff members placing the smiling Trump figurine in a garbage-bag-filled dumpster. A red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap was also tossed in the trash can. 

The museum doesn’t typically ‘throw away’ wax models of US presidents, even after they leave office. Their statue of former president Barack Obama, for example, has been left untouched. 

The politically-tinged stunt received wide applause on social media. Numerous commenters hailed the move as “perfect” and “where Trump belongs.”

Others suggested that the “whole Trump family” was heading for the dumpster after the presidential election. 

Not everyone swooned over the gimmick, though. 

One Twitter user mocked the museum’s “brave commentary” and said it should try the same stunt with a wax statue of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed. 

Similarly unimpressed commenters theorized that Germans were just angry at Trump for demanding that it pay its fair share for military defense from NATO, and condemned the dumpster exhibit as tasteless.

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South Korea reports 83 deaths among people given flu jabs amid safety concerns with govt vaccination program

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on South Korea reports 83 deaths among people given flu jabs amid safety concerns with govt vaccination program

South Korea has reported that 83 people have died after receiving flu shots, a week after Seoul said it would probe its mass vaccination program. The government continues to insist the deaths aren’t linked to the jab.

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FILE PHOTO: A hospital worker in Daegu, South Korea
South Korean government to investigate spate of deaths linked to seasonal flu shots after toll rises to 30

The country’s public health agency, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), announced on Saturday that 83 people in total have died after participating in a free vaccination initiative billed as a way to offset potential complications from Covid-19. 

Most of the deaths involved the elderly, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing figures provided by the KDCA. Of the total number of fatalities, 37 people were in their 70s, followed by 34 people aged 80 or older. Four deaths involved people in their 60s, while eight individuals who passed away were under 60. 

Health officials have repeatedly insisted that there is no evidence pointing to a direct link between the flu shots and the deaths. However, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun called for an investigation into potential safety issues last week, when the number of people who died shortly after receiving flu shots reached 30. Earlier, the Korean Medical Association had called on Seoul to halt the program pending a full review.

Concerns about the vaccination drive first emerged after it was revealed that some of the doses were exposed to room temperature while being administered to the public. However, the vaccines in question have not been linked to any of the deaths.  

To date, more than 11.5 million South Koreans have received a free jab under the program. 

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Third person detained in connection with Nice terror knife attack – reports

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Third person detained in connection with Nice terror knife attack – reports

A third individual has been taken into custody amid an ongoing investigation into a deadly knife attack at a church in Nice, France, according to multiple outlets citing police sources.

The 33-year-old man was present during a police search on Friday at the home of another individual who was suspected of having been in contact with the alleged attacker, the AFP news agency reported.

The second person of interest, identified by police sources to the media as a 47-year-old male, is said to have been in communication with the alleged knifeman, a Tunisian migrant, a day before he carried out his rampage. The suspect was shot by police after he killed three people at the church. His condition is listed as serious. French officials are investigating the attack as a terrorist act. 

Tunisian authorities have launched a separate probe into the existence of an alleged terror cell that reportedly took credit for the attack on social media. The suspect’s family in Tunisia have insisted that the 21-year-old man showed no signs of extremism and had told them earlier that he planned to sleep in a building opposite the church. 

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The mother of Brahim Aouissaoui, who is suspected of carrying out Thursday's attack in Nice, France, in Thina, a suburb of Sfax, Tunisia, October 30, 2020.
Tunisia launches probe into existence of so-called ‘Mahdi Organization’ that allegedly claimed responsibility for Nice attack

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Turkey registers powerful 5.0 aftershock following deadly quake

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Turkey registers powerful 5.0 aftershock following deadly quake

Turkish seismologists have detected a powerful 5.0 magnitude aftershock off the country's Aegean Sea coast. The jolt follows the devastating earthquake that killed at least 27 and injured over 800 across Turkey and Greece.

The aftershock was reported by Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) early on Saturday. It was not immediately clear whether the tremor inflicted more damage on the country.

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At least 22 people dead in Turkey after 7.0 quake hits Aegean Sea

The devastating earthquake, measured at 6.6 magnitude by Turkish authorities and 7.0 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), struck the Aegean shore on Friday afternoon. More that 470 aftershocks, with at least 35 measuring over 4.0 in magnitude, followed the quake.

Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey, was the worst hit by the earthquake. Several multi-story buildings have been reduced into rubble, with dozens of people trapped inside. Some 100 people have been rescued from the debris, and rescue efforts continue at eight locations.

At least 25 people were killed including one individual who has drowned, latest figures by the Turkish authorities show. Two more people died on the Greek island of Samos. More than 800 people suffered various injuries across the two countries during the disaster.

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A damaged Greek Orthodox church at the town of Karlovasi, following an earthquake. © Samos24.gr via REUTERS
2 dead as Aegean quake destroys church, sends mini tsunami toward Greek Island of Samos (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

The leaders of Turkey and Greece, two neighbors trapped in a bitter dispute over Mediterranean natural resources exploration rights for months, have shown rare solidarity in wake of the disaster. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on the phone, expressing condolences and offering help to one another.

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Austria’s Kurz vows to fight ‘political Islam’ after Turkish teens rampage through Vienna church

Posted by RT on October 31, 2020  |   Comments Off on Austria’s Kurz vows to fight ‘political Islam’ after Turkish teens rampage through Vienna church

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said that his government will not tolerate religious extremism after dozens of Turkish youths reportedly stormed through a church in Vienna.

Between 30 and 50 Turkish teenagers are said to have rampaged through the Catholic Church of St. Anton von Padua in Vienna-Favoriten. According to local media reports, the youths shouted “Allahu akbar” as they kicked benches and the church’s confessional. The youths scattered after the pastor called the police. 

Writing on Twitter about the rowdy flash mob, the Austrian chancellor said that all Christians in the country must be able to “exercise their faith freely and safely.”

We will resolutely continue the fight against political Islam and will not show any false tolerance here.

No one was injured during the incident and police are currently reviewing surveillance footage. The youths reportedly met earlier in the day at a square, where they shouted “Islamic slogans” and set off firecrackers.

According to Austrian media, law enforcement initially labeled the unsettling disturbance as a “youth prank,” but the case was later referred to the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution and dozens of police officers were dispatched to the area as a safety precaution. 

Interior Minister Karl Nehammer vowed to protect Austria’s Christian community “with all our resources” and said that security was being bolstered following a string of violence and attempted attacks in France that have been linked to Islamic extremists. 

An attack on Thursday at a church in Nice, France left three people dead. The suspect, a Tunisian migrant who had recently arrived in the country, was accused by French officials of being an “Islamo-fascist,” although his family in Tunisia denies that he holds radical religious beliefs. 

France launched a crackdown on extremism following the murder of a schoolteacher, Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by a Chechen refugee after showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on freedom of speech. 

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Protesters from the Muslim Interaktiv organisation demonstrating in Berlin on Friday. © REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
WATCH: Muslims in Berlin hold protests against Macron’s anti-Islamist crackdown, chant ‘Allahu akbar’

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