15 Jul

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

france 24

Truck attack in Nice: what we know so far

A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry confirmed that at least 84 people had been killed after the truck ploughed two kilometres (1.3 miles) through the crowd, who had just finished watching the firework show.

As rumours swirled online, the Ministry dismissed reports that people had been taken hostage.

According to witness testimonies confirmed by a police source, the driver pulled out a gun and fired at the crowd before being shot dead.

He is yet to be named, but the identity papers of a 31-year-old French-Tunisian were found in the truck, according to a police source. The papers indicate the man is a Nice resident who is known to police for common law crimes, but not to intelligence services.

Multiple bullet holes were visible in the truck’s windscreen as police moved in after the carnage.

Was this a jihadist attack?

The attack has not been claimed by any group, but Hollande said in an address to the nation early Friday that the attack was of an “undeniable terrorist nature”.

Prosecutors say the probe will be handled by anti-terrorism investigators.

“Investigations are currently underway to establish if the individual acted alone or if he had accomplices who might have fled,” interior ministry spokesman Brandet said.

The attack comes with France under a state of emergency following the Islamic State group attacks in Paris in November that left 130 people dead.

How has the government reacted?

Hollande announced that the state of emergency would be extended by three months and army reservists called up to boost security.

He also said France would strengthen its role in Iraq and Syria, where it is part of the international coalition fighting IS group jihadists.

He will chair a meeting of top military and security officials later Friday to decide on possible further steps.

Has anything like this happened in France before?…………….


  • Dylan Noble was killed after being pulled over at California gas station

  • Multiple shots were fired even as he was wounded and lying on his back

in San Francisco

The Fresno, California, police department released graphic body-camera footage of officers repeatedly shooting an unarmed teenager, including multiple shots that were fired as the adolescent was gravely wounded, lying on his back and barely moving. Dylan Noble, 19, was shot at a gas station last month

Police in California have released graphic body-camera footage of officers repeatedly shooting an unarmed teenager, including multiple shots that were fired as the adolescent was gravely wounded, lying on his back and barely moving.

The release on Wednesday of video of the killing of Dylan Noble, a 19-year-old shot at a gas station in Fresno on 25 June, occurred just hours after the police department told the Guardian it would not release the footage.

Officers privately showed the video to Noble’s family last Friday but had initially refused to release the video to the public until the investigation was complete.

“They just wanted to shoot him,” said Darren Noble, Dylan’s father, after watching the footage. “They’re just trigger-happy.”……….


Toy guns and sharp-tipped umbrellas are banned from the vicinity of the event where Donald Trump will be nominated. Rifles, shotguns and pistols are not

Police officers in Cleveland, Ohio, demonstrate some of their security assets, including remote-controlled robots, horse-mounted officers, bomb-sniffing dogs ahead of the Republican national convention.

Police officers in Cleveland, Ohio, show off remote-controlled robots, horse-mounted officers, bomb-sniffing dogs ahead of the Republican national convention. Photograph: Michael Mathes/AFP/Getty Images

Cleveland officials have expressed concern about the Ohio “open carry” state laws that will allow people to take guns to events organized close to the Republican party convention – but have not given assurances of how they will police the use of guns and banned objects in crowded areas, where the atmosphere is likely to be highly charged.

Guns will not be allowed into the convention itself, which is being held inside the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland and policed by the secret service, or inside a tight perimeter immediately surrounding the venue.

But in a broad space outside those inner security rings, near the arena, in a large area loosely known as the event zone, guns will be allowed in an open-carry situation and, with a valid permit, to be carried while concealed.

While guns will be allowed in that zone, toy guns are banned. The city has declared a long list of other items that are prohibited from being taken into the event zone during the convention, which begins on Monday with the GOP readying itself to anoint Donald Trump as its nominee for the White House.

Prohibited items range from glass bottles to lengths of rope and knives, and from tennis balls to lasers, gas masks, sledgehammers and drones, according to a list issued by the Cleveland authorities. Umbrellas with sharp tips are banned. So are pellet guns. But ordinary guns and bullets must be permitted if legally toted, because of an Ohio law that carrying a firearm is not prohibited……………


US politics

Election 2016

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Opinion:The Republican platform is extremist – and so is anyone who supports it


When John F Kennedy was killed, I wondered what kind of country this was. Then I kept being asked if we had TV in England and what language we spoke

‘The first question I was usually asked was “Do you know the Beatles?’

‘The first question I was usually asked was “Do you know the Beatles?’ Photograph: Reuters

People often ask me what brought me to the US. My usual answer is “my parents”. I came to this country, unhappily, nine days short of my 11th birthday. After all, which sensible 10-year-old wants to be uprooted from familiar things and dragged 3,000 miles to a new country?

We obtained our visas on 21 November 1963. The next day John F Kennedy was assassinated. It made my family wonder what kind of a country we were coming to. Nonetheless, we left England and landed at Idlewild airport in January of the following year. We made our way to Buffalo, New York, where we encountered more snow than we had ever seen before.

My parents were nurses and left England because, despite having senior positions within the National Health Service, they couldn’t seem to prosper. We lived in housing provided by the hospitals my parents worked for, we had old cars and going on holiday was near impossible. They were looking for the Promised Land in the USA.

Did they find it? I suppose they did. They ended up owning a home, buying new cars, travelling a little and managing to save money for the future. My parents adapted to some things in America reluctantly. They hated tea bags, peanut butter, tuna in cans and the mountains of snow in Buffalo. But when they returned to England for the first time in 1987, they vowed never to return again. Home had changed. Now there were tea bags and peanut butter there too. It was too much like the US. I guess it is true: you can’t go home again.

What about the reluctant 10-year-old? I was in school four days after arriving and the first question I was usually asked was: “Do you know the Beatles?” It was 1964 and the Fab Four were all the rage. However, what I realized very quickly was how little we knew about each other’s countries. I knew about “cowboys and Indians” and even the civil war, but nothing about the American war of independence.

In turn, I was asked if we had TV in England and what language we spoke. I dearly wanted to answer that we wore skins and painted our faces blue with woad but realized that my comment would not be understood since they spoke American and I spoke English.

I did, however, soon realize that I had opportunities here that might not have been afforded me in England. I went to university twice: first to be a teacher and then a nurse. I also owned a home, bought new cars, travelled and saved for the future.

The reluctant 10-year-old has now lived here for 52 years, grown up and grown old in this my adopted country. There is much natural beauty here (I never tire of visiting Niagara Falls) and like everywhere, there are good people and people we wish would just vanish.

I continue to be amazed about how ignorant most Americans are of the world in general and their own history. And that they are quite happy to remain so. I think back to those events of November 1963, which brought pause to our impending immigration. I cry when I hear of another mass shooting, I shake my head when I hear gun advocates cry out against any kind gun control. And remember that these things color the way that the rest of the world sees the US – and that we are continuously haunted in this country by the gun violence that we still witness.

I returned to England in 2004 and I lived and worked there for a year. I wanted very much to stay but circumstances didn’t allow for that – and then the world economy closed that door for good.

In the past decade since I returned to the US, I have been party to electing the first African American president and now have an opportunity to hopefully elect the first female president. I deplore the partisan politics in the US Congress and cringe every time Donald Trump opens his mouth. I waited with bated breath for the Brexit vote and I was horrified to hear the results the next morning. I knew with a heavy heart that there was going to be a profound change in the country I left……………..

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