By Ingrid Melander, Sybille de La Hamaide and Julien Ponthus PARIS (Reuters) - World leaders including Muslim and Jewish statesmen linked arms to lead more than a million French citizens through Paris in an unprecedented march to pay tribute to victims of Islamist militant attacks. Commentators said the last time crowds of this size filled the streets of the capital was at the Liberation of Paris from Nazi Germany in 1944. President Francois Hollande and leaders from Germany, Italy, Turkey, Britain as well as Israel and the Palestinian territories moved off from the central Place de la Republique ahead of a sea of French and other flags. Seventeen people, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence that began on Wednesday with a shooting attack on the political weekly Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions. Giant letters attached to a statue in the square spelt out the word Pourquoi?" (Why?) and small groups sang the "La Marseillaise" national anthem. "Paris is today the capital of the world. Our entire country will rise up and show its best side," Hollande said. At least 3.7 million people took part in silent marches throughout the country, the biggest public demonstration ever registered in France. A total of 1.2 million to 1.6 million marched in Paris and a further 2.5 million in other cities, the Interior Ministry said. The marches mostly proceeded in a respectful silence, reflecting shock over the worst militant Islamist assault on a European city since 57 people were killed in an attack on London's transport system in 2005. The attackers, two French-born brothers of Algerian origin, singled out the weekly for its publication of cartoons depicting and ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad. The bloodshed ended on Friday with a hostage-taking at a Jewish deli in which four hostages and the gunman were killed. Some 2,200 police and soldiers patrolled Paris streets to protect marchers from would-be attackers, with police snipers on rooftops and plain-clothes detectives mingling with the crowd. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi were among 44 foreign leaders marching with Hollande. Merkel walked to Hollande's left and at his right was President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali, a country where France intervened to fight Islamist rebels two years ago to the day. In a rare public display of emotion by the leaders of two powers, Hollande embraced Merkel, her eyes shut and forehead resting on his cheek, on the steps of the Elysee before they headed off to march. Renzi said the fight against terrorism will be won by a Europe that is political, not just economic. "The most important is the Europe of values, of culture, of ideals and that is the reason we are here," Renzi said. Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu - who earlier in the day encouraged French Jews to emigrate to Israel - and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were also present and walked just a few steps from one another. "In the same way that the civilized world stood today with France against terror, so it must stand with Israel against terror," Netanyahu said at a ceremony in a Paris synagogue. After world leaders left the march, Hollande stayed to greet survivors of the Charlie Hebdo attack and their families, while hundreds of thousands of people marched slowly and in near-total silence through Paris streets. "We're not going to let a little gang of hoodlums run our lives," said Fanny Appelbaum, 75, who said she lost two sisters and a brother in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. "Today, we are all one." Zakaria Moumni, a 34-year-old Franco-Moroccan draped in the French flag, agreed: "I am here to show the terrorists they have not won - it is bringing people together of all religions." The attacks have raised difficult questions of free speech, religion and security, and exposed the vulnerability of states to urban attacks. The head of France's 550,000-strong Jewish community, Roger Cukierman, said Hollande had promised that Jewish schools and synagogues would have extra protection, by the army if necessary, after the killings. He also called for limits on hate speech and more control on suspected jihadists. Hours before the march, a video emerged featuring a man resembling the gunman killed in the kosher deli. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State insurgent group and urged French Muslims to follow his example. Two of the gunmen had declared allegiance to al Qaeda in Yemen and a third to the militant Islamic State. All three were killed during the police operations in what local commentators have called "France's 9/11", a reference to the September 2001 attacks on U.S. targets by al Qaeda. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that at a meeting in Paris on Sunday European interior ministers had agreed to boost cooperation to thwart further militant attacks. He called for the creation of a European database of airplane passenger names and said Europe should fight against abusive use of the Internet to spread hate speech. While there has been widespread solidarity with the victims, there have been dissenting voices. French social media have carried comments from those uneasy with the "Je suis Charlie" slogan interpreted as freedom of expression at all cost. Others suggest there was hypocrisy in world leaders whose countries have repressive media laws attending the march. Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, whom analysts see receiving a boost in the polls due to the attacks, said her anti-immigrant party had been excluded from the Paris demonstration and would instead take part in regional marches. Less than 1,000 people gathered in the National Front-ruled southern town of Beaucaire. (Additional reporting by Andew Callus,; Elizabeth Pineau, Jean-Baptiste Vey, Ori Lewis and Bill Maclean; Writing by Mark John and Geert De Clercq; Editing by Ralph Boulton, Anna Willard and Angus MacSwan)
- Lexington Herald-Leader
She’s facing child abuse charges.
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- The Independent
President took unusual step of talking about Chauvin trial once jury was sequestered
- Business Insider
AG Bill Barr reportedly told a US attorney 'I am going to f---ing fire your a--' if he talked to Matt Gaetz about DOJ business
"If I ever hear of you talking to Gaetz...I am going to f---ing fire your ass," Barr told the US attorney last year, while the DOJ was probing Gaetz.
- The Daily Beast
MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEVMOSCOW—The day began with a dystopian wave of pre-emptive arrests. Many of his opponents were already under lock and key by the time President Vladimir Putin used an annual state of the nation address to remind people what happens to popular uprisings within striking distance of the Kremlin.With Russian troops massed on the border of Ukraine in numbers not seen since the invasion of Crimea, Putin gloried in the fate of the pro-Western movement in Kyiv, seven years after he annexed a chunk of its territory.Similar forces were at play in Belarus, Putin said, where the CIA was accused of stirring up a coup plot against the pro-Russian leader, who rigged elections last year. Putin has helped President Lukashenko crack down on the protest movement, which sprung up against the blatantly stolen election.Domestic protesters were gathering across the Russia as he spoke, fully aware that a similar crackdown is underway here as Putin’s rule slips toward dictatorship.The president will meet Lukashenko on Thursday amid increasingly close military and political ties between Moscow and the former Soviet client state. Putin has long wanted to place a missile base in Belarus and would love to further integrate the countries, putting the former Soviet port of Kaliningrad within reach.In an apparent slip of the tongue, Putin evoked the Cold War era by referring to his Eastern European allies as being members of the “Warsaw… [Pact]” before catching himself.In the major set-piece speech, Putin claimed that while the West was supposedly stirring up insurrection in the region, “Nobody thought of Ukraine’s fate and does not think of consequences for Belarusians.”He warned that any further interference in Eastern Europe would be a “red line” for Russia. “The organizers of any provocations against Russia will regret [it] in a way they never have before,” he said, promising asymmetric warfare while an estimated 100,000 troops, tanks and fighter jets wait on Ukraine’s border.The recriminations against uprisings within Russia have already begun. Alexei Navalny, the leader of Russia’s opposition, was targeted in nerve-agent attack last year and then jailed on trumped-up charges earlier this year.While Navalny’s supporters were being snatched out of taxis or arrested in their homes ahead of protests Wednesday, he was languishing in a prison hospital in a Siberia penal colony. Doctors say his life is “hanging by a thread.”After Navalny was taken ill during a hunger strike and denied access to independent medical professionals, his team called for a nationwide protest. Police stormed the apartments of Navalny supporters on Tuesday and Wednesday, hours before the rally, arresting people in the streets and at work in Krasnodar, Kurgan, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and many other cities.Many people are reluctant to join the protest because they fear lengthy prison terms, not just the short administrative detentions of up to 15 days, which have been commonplace throughout the Putin era.And yet, still thousands took to the streets in what they saw as the final battle in Putin’s transformation into a dictator.One of those who protested regardless was Navalny’s close friend Yevgeny Roizman, the former governor of the Sverdkovsk region. He led several thousand people on a march through Yekaterinburg, despite road closures and police vehicles equipped with water cannons.Roizman told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that several years in prison was an unpleasant thought for a 58-year-old but he was unwavering in his determination. “This is a philosophical question for every Russian: Either you live for the rest of your life as a slave and coward, or you come out to feel yourself a free and brave man,” he said.Since the imprisonment of Navalny—which Amnesty International has described as a slow-motion execution—experienced Kremlinologists, opposition politicians, and journalists have begun to openly describe a hard shift in domestic politics, a path toward “dictatorship,” not the so-called soft authoritarian model sometimes ascribed to Russia.Moscow politician Vladimir Ryzhkov told The Daily Beast that the country has changed since Navalny’s arrest at the airport as he returned from Germany three months ago.“Russia is a dictatorship now, where young people, university students get prison terms for innocent posts on social media,” he said. “It will be even worse. Decline of the economy, capital outflow, shrinking incomes, technological lag—these are the inevitable consequences of Vladimir Putin’s domestic and foreign policies.”After speaking to The Daily Beast, Ryzhkov was one of hundreds arrested for supposedly organizing Wednesday’s rallies after he reposted details on social media.Professors and students have been deeply traumatized by police persecutions against the authors of university newspaper Doxa this month. Four of the young journalists have been arrested and others are being questioned—the crackdown on a student paper is seen as a new low in media suppression even under Putin.“Police broke the door to our apartment, arrested my friend for her call not to be afraid of exercising our constitutional right of peaceful assembly,” a witness told The Daily Beast. “Many want to leave the country but the courage of Doxa authors, who continue to publish in spite of their friends being under arrest, inspires all the paper’s readers.”Gennady Gudkov, a Russian opposition figure in exile, insisted that this dark new era would never snuff out all opposition to Putin. “This is not the end of the resistance in Russia,” he told The Daily Beast. “When Putin turns into a dictator supported by military forces, the opposition will radicalize and work from the underground.”On Wednesday morning, Navalny’s wife, Yulia, posted an Instagram video of herself with the caption: “I am the queen of the underground.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Reuters Videos
South Korean police say they want to talk to the wife of the Belgian ambassador there, after an incident in which she allegedly slapped a shopkeeper.Footage from a security camera emerged online this week from a clothing store.It shows a woman slapping a shopkeeper who had tried to stop her from approaching another worker.They had suspected she was trying to leave the shop with an item of clothing she had not paid for. Police who were dispatched at scene identified her as Xiang Xueqiu, the wife of the Belgian ambassador, according to an officer at the local police station. Police say they received a complaint over an alleged assault.But since then, the police have not been able to contact Xiang, saying it was because she was in a hospital. Reuters was unable to identify which hospital and could not immediately reach her for comment. The Belgian embassy in Seoul confirmed Xiang had been hospitalized but made no further comment. South Korea's foreign ministry told Reuters it had urged the Belgian embassy to cooperate on the matter and said it would take appropriate measure based on the police investigation.
- Business Insider
Putin warns that anyone who threatens Russia's security will 'regret' it as he amasses 100,000 troops on Ukraine's borders
Anyone who threatens Russian security "will regret their deeds more than they have regretted anything in a long time," Putin said.
- The Daily Beast
VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesPrince Harry has flown home to California—missing the queen’s first birthday as a widow—amid growing evidence that his visit to the U.K. did not significantly improve “strained” relations with his father and brother despite some positive signs.Harry arrived at LAX airport on Tuesday afternoon, getting back to his home in Montecito by 4 p.m. local time, dailymail.com reports.He is understood to have flown into Los Angeles on an American Airlines flight from London Heathrow. A chauffeur-driven MPV was seen leaving the private terminal at LAX and arriving at their Montecito mansion.However hopes were fading Wednesday that a brief carefully choreographed chat between Harry and William as they walked out of their grandfather’s funeral on Saturday would herald a new era of royal relations.The Times reported that Harry’s relationship with his father and brother continues to be “strained” and said any exchanges between them at the funeral will have done little to improve matters.If you love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage, then we hope you’ll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get it in your inbox on Sunday.Sources told The Times it was “unthinkable” there would have been serious discussions after the funeral on the grave matters raised by Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. Harry told Oprah his brother and father were “trapped” in the monarchy and angrily criticized his father’s lack of understanding for his and Meghan’s unhappiness. The couple also accused an unnamed family member of making racist inquiries about the likely color of the skin of any children Meghan and Harry might have.Harry returned home before his grandmother turned 95 on Wednesday, just days after the funeral of her husband of 77 years.Having been obliged to sit alone at the funeral due to strict British coronavirus regulations, the queen is also thought unlikely to see her family on her birthday. She is likely to spend the day at Windsor Castle with only a small bubble of staff. Current English coronavirus rules forbid families from gathering inside, however gatherings outside or in gardens are permitted.Harry’s speedy return to the U.S. comes after several days of mixed reports on the progress of reconciliation attempts with his father and brother. Much seems unresolved, despite reports that Harry, William, and Charles spent several hours locked in conversation after the funeral.Conflicting reports have emerged about this alleged conversation.The Mail claimed that Charles and William insisted on meeting with Harry together so that nobody’s words could be misconstrued afterward, and that the meeting happened on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The Sun said the meeting happened at Harry’s home, Frogmore Cottage, and that Kate was present. The palace has refused to comment for fear of inflaming the delicate situation.What is not in doubt is that after Saturday’s funeral, William and Harry walked back to Windsor Castle from St. George’s Chapel together. Harry’s brief visit to the U.K. for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh was his first trip back to Britain in a year. The brothers had not seen each other in person since a frosty encounter at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.Upon leaving the funeral, Harry first spoke to Kate Middleton, who diplomatically appeared to engineer the situation so that the brothers walked together. Just weeks previously, Harry’s wife had accused Kate of allowing the uncorrected circulation of lies about who made who cry in the run-up to Meghan’s wedding. Meghan, who is expecting a baby girl in the summer, did not travel on doctor’s orders but did send a handwritten note and a wreath.The trip marked the first time Harry has seen his family since making explosive allegations about royal racism during an interview with Oprah last month and claiming his father and brother are “trapped in the system.”William is known to have been deeply hurt by what Harry said, and Charles was upset by Harry saying he felt let down by his father and Harry’s accusation that he cut him off financially, and refused to take his phone calls.Harry will now begin another 10-day quarantine as recommended for travelers to the U.S. by the CDC.The queen Wednesday issued a statement saying: “I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate.“While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see and to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world.“My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Reuters Videos
As India fights a brutal second wave of COVID-19, the fight for oxygen is turning nasty. Desperate relatives stole oxygen cylinders from a hospital storeroom to keep by their family’s bedside. The staff at a hospital in central Madhya Pradesh said they’d stop working if security wasn’t amped up. A surgeon said some of the relatives attacked staff, and when the staff tried to reason with them they were threatened. At this hospital they say there’s no shortage of oxygen, but people are anxious as it’s a different picture elsewhere.Battling breathlessness, bureaucracy, and a lack of beds; patients are being turned away by hospitals and it's costing lives.At least 22 patients died at a public hospital in India's western Maharashtra state when their oxygen supply ran out.Police officials say it was after a leak in the tank.India is now the epicenter of this global crisis, recording more than 200,000 new COVID-19 cases daily for the last seven days. That’s the world's steepest rise this month, and there’s no sign yet that the second wave of infections is going to peak soon, with many major cities going into lockdown. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged state governments to only use lockdowns as the last resort, promising he is taking rapid action to increase oxygen supplies. Modi faces criticism that his administration lowered its guard when coronavirus infections fell, allowing religious festivals and political rallies that he himself addressed to go ahead. In the capital, authorities say Delhi hospitals would start running out of medical oxygen by Wednesday. Major government hospitals in the city of 20 million people had between eight and 24 hours worth of oxygen, while some private ones had enough for just four to five hours, according to Delhi's deputy chief minister.Over the last 24 hours India reported more than 2,000 deaths from COVID-19, as crematoriums tried to keep up.
- Business Insider
The STRATCOM commander says he needs a modern nuclear force because he cannot deter "leftovers of the Cold War" forever.
- Miami Herald
A disturbing, graphic video circulating on social media Wednesday on Hollywood Unlocked says that Pretty Ricky singer Baby Blue was shot.
The "Army of the Dead" star revealed that he made it clear to Warner Bros. and DC that he wants to play the legendary villain.
- Christian Science Monitor
Multiethnic teams of volunteers patrolling Chinatown in Oakland, California, are awaking and uniting the city.
- Miami Herald
A 32-year-old mother was found dead early Tuesday, next to her sleeping child, inside a car in the parking lot of a Boynton Beach hotel.
- Business Insider
The Pentagon says more and more Russian troops are amassing near Ukraine, and it is not convinced this is just a training exercise
The Pentagon says there are now more Russian troops on the border of Ukraine than there were in 2014.
- USA TODAY
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says the world is "addicted to being offended" and we need to "start talking to people you've written off."
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday drew criticism by thanking George Floyd, a Black man who became a symbol of the struggle for racial justice, after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering him. During a news conference following Chauvin's conviction on three criminal counts, Pelosi called the outcome "a step in the right direction for justice." "Thank you, George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice," Pelosi said, referring to Floyd's death in May as Chauvin pinned his knee on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.
LeBron James' greatness stems from a freakish, God-given ability that no one else has, according to Dwyane Wade
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Derek Chauvin is being held in Minnesota's most secure prison unit and away from the general population
Derek Chauvin is on "administration segregation" for his own safety, a Minnesota Department of Corrections spokesperson told Insider.
- The Independent
Judge revokes Chauvin’s bail and he will remain in police custody until his sentencing, which is scheduled for June.