The police have not disclosed the identity of the suspect. According to the “Parisian”, the attacker was an 18-year-old man with a Chechen background, born in Moscow. When committing the crime, he was carrying a knife and an air gun, and he shouted “Allahu Akbar” when he committed the crime.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has arrived in Paris to discuss the proposals by Emmanuel Macron to preserve the JCPOA deal, and is scheduled to meet with the French president today, Friday. The details of Mr. Macron’s proposal are not yet clear, but he said he has a strategy aimed at “reducing sanctions.”
- PHILIPPINES: Terrorist group Daesh has claimed responsibility for a Sunday church bombing, which left 20 people dead and 100 wounded, on the southern island of Jolo. In response, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to “crush these godless criminals.”
- CANADA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has continued to call for the release of two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, detained in China in response to the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. Beijing promised retaliation after Meng was arrested at U.S. request.
- FRANCE: President Emmanuel Macron says he deeply regrets his American counterpart’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria. “To be allies is to fight shoulder to shoulder,” Macron said on a visit to French troops in Chad. France is a key part of the coalition, and will remain in Syria.
- BELGIUM: King Filip of Belgium accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Charles Michel on Friday. The meeting was necessitated by the withdrawal of Michel’s Flemish nationalist coalition partners, the N-VA, over the UN’s Migration Compact. A caretaker government will be in place until regularly-scheduled elections in May.
- DR CONGO: Members of the opposition are furious after the electoral commission announced a weeklong delay to presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC election body said the delay was necessary after last week’s warehouse fire destroyed voting materials.
- CUBA: Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association announced a major agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation on Wednesday, aimed at stemming the smuggling of Cuban players. The agreement faces an uncertain legal future with the Trump administration.
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- An estimated 125,000 demonstrators gathered across the country during the day, with 10,000 of them in the capital. Looters have been seen smashing shop fronts, and cars have been set on fire. Nearly 90,000 officers were deployed countrywide in anticipation of clashes, including 8,000 in Paris where 12 armoured vehicles were also utilised.
- Not all protesters were rioting. Many said they had come to carry out a peaceful protest against not only the rise in fuel taxes but the cost of living in the country more broadly. Alexis, a 21-year-old construction worker who lives near Disneyland Paris said: “I can’t live on my salary. If it wasn’t for my parents I would probably be on the street. The government needs to help us. I can’t even afford to take my girlfriend out for dinner.”
- French President Emmanuel Macron has stayed out of the public eye all week, leaving his unpopular government to try to calm the nation. In response, “Macron, resign!” has become the main slogan of the “yellow vest” demonstrators.
- Unlike the United States, France provides its citizens with a generous amount of social services, but the median national salary is approximately 20,520 euros ($23,350). Even if, for example, the country’s health system is largely free, the average citizen does not enjoy a high level of disposable income.
- [Macron’s] labor restructuring has made it easier for certain companies to hire and fire employees, largely to streamline an economy in which unemployment is still relatively high. He has also set his sights on welfare spending.
- The green agenda bills itself as a movement to save the planet and fight inequality. But in truth, its anti-carbon policies fall hardest on middle class and working class, says Jarrett Stepman. The yellow jacket protests are over more than just a single, obnoxious tax. They arise from the failure of Western leaders, like Macron, to look out for the interests of their people as a whole instead of just their favored classes.
- Some are blaming Facebook. There seems to be consensus that the social network is the organizational platform of choice for the gilets jaunes. But the idea that popular outrage is more about “the power of social networks” than actual French politics seems very wrong, and more than a little irresponsible, says Max Read.