MI6 spy ‘among dead shot by Somalia terror firing squad’

See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.


October 11, 2018

Sources: Daily Express

Related news

  • Police officer 'fought for his life as he grabbed samurai sword blade'

    Police officer 'fought for his life as he grabbed samurai sword blade'

    e grabbed the blade of a sword to prevent a terrorist attack on colleagues outside Buckingham Palace.</p><p>PC Ian Midgley opened the passenger door of the Toyota Prius and reached inside to grab the samurai sword and grapple with the suspect who was yelling 'Allahu Akbar', which translates to 'God is great' in Arabic.</p><p>He told the Old Bailey: 'I've done this job for 20 years and that was the only occasion I have had to fight for my life.'</p><p>Moment Chris Watts realizes he's caught on neighbor's surveillance cam</p><p>Bercow blasts ‘deeply discourteous’ May for delaying Brexit vote</p><p>PM: 'Shared determination' with EU to deal with backstop issue</p><p>Emergency services arrive at the scene of Strasbourg shooting</p><p>Investigators survey site where Chris Watts dumped family's bodies</p><p>Grace Millane murder accused appears in court for first time</p><p>Trump's extraordinary budget clash with Pelosi and Schumer</p><p>Young lion left isolated by huge herd of buffaloes in Kenya</p><p>'Take the deal and get out': says James Cleverly during debate</p><p>Yvette Cooper: 'PM making our country look chaotic and ridiculous'</p><p>Drunk reveller throws food into a homeless man's face</p><p>The scene outside Buckingham Palace (above) after the attack on police officers </p><p>The samurai sword (pictured above) used to attack police outside of Buckingham Palace by Mohiussunnath Chowdhury</p><p>When he arrived at Buckingham Palace shortly after 8.30pm, Chowdhury swerved through traffic bollards and swung across the carriageway in front of a police van. Footage shot inside the police van shows officers then getting out of it to investigate</p><p>Dashcam footage shows PC Ian Midgley walk towards Chowdhury's car</p><p>PC Midgley spoke to Chowdhury and he then suddenly leant towards the passenger side of the vehicle. The police officer said he grabbed the top of a sharp object and was then punched in the face repeatedly by Chowdhury.  </p><p>PC Gavin Hutt then came to his colleagues aid and the pair can be seen grappling with Chowdhury</p><p>PC Hutt managed to get Chowdhury's arm out of the window and yelled at another colleague to use CS spray which subdued Chowdhury</p><p>Chowdhury was then dragged from the car and arrested by the three officers</p><p>PC Midgley is then seen walking away and looking at his hand which was injured in the incident</p><p> After another officer joined the pair and used CS sprayon Chowdhury.  He was then dragged from the car and arrested. PC Midgley then walked away from the car having successfully taken the sword from Chowdhury</p><p>Dashcam footage from a police van showed another officer, PC Gavin Hutt, raining blows on Mohiussunnath Chowdhury through the driver's window as they tried to prevent the alleged attack.</p><p>Chowdhury, 27, an Uber driver from Luton, had first driven to the Windsor Castle pub in Windsor instead of the castle itself after apparently putting the wrong address in his SatNav.</p><p>When he arrived at Buckingham Palace shortly after 8.30pm, he swerved through traffic bollards and swung across the carriageway in front of a police van.</p><p>PC Midgley told the court: 'The driver for no apparent reason suddenly leaned down towards the passenger side area.</p><p>Chowdhury (pictured above) denies preparing terrorist acts by obtaining a Samurai sword, purchasing a knife sharpener, preparing a suicide note, and driving to the area adjacent to Buckingham Palace</p><p>Chowdhury had sketched pictures of attacks outside of 10 Downing Street</p><p>'There appeared to be some sort of struggle starting. Because of what was going on, my immediate thought was I would try the passenger door and it immediately opened.</p><p>'The area is quite poorly lit, there isn't a lot of street lighting and from my memory there wasn't an interior light in the vehicle.</p><p>'There was quite a large object in a T shape in the passenger seat area. Because I didn't know what the object was, it was of immediate concern.</p><p>The sword used (pictured above) to attack the police officers outside of Buckingham Palace </p><p>'I grabbed towards the top of it, right below the T part. He started shouting 'Allahu Akbar' and it became clear I had grabbed something extremely sharp, it started cutting into my hand.</p><p>'He was punching me in the face. I thought if I put my head down, then at least he'll get the top of my head.'</p><p>PC Hutt was on his way to Belgravia Police station from Charing Cross to act as cover for officers at the Notting Hill Carnival the next day.</p><p>PC Ian Midgley opened the passenger door of a Toyota Prius and reached inside to grab the samurai sword (pictured above) and grapple with the suspect</p><p>He got out of the passenger side of the van to see what had happened and told the court: 'It was almost like someone had stalled the car. I said to Ian I would go and check it out. I didn't think much of it at the time - I thought it was someone doing a U-turn or a drunk driver, something like that.</p><p>'As I got closer to the vehicle I looked in and saw the defendant in the vehicle no one else. He was staring at me intently which I thought was a bit odd at the time but people do react differently when a police officer approaches.</p><p>'I said words to the effect of, 'What's going on, what's up?' to get the driver's account. He said, 'It's all a bit f**ked up, those were his exact words. I thought that's a really strange thing to say.</p><p>Chowdhury had also sketched pictures of images showing the Twin Towers being blown up</p><p>'He then leaned over towards the glove box to get something. It obviously sets off alarm bells from an officer safety point of view if they haven't been asked to get anything.</p><p>'I believe at that point I became concerned so I leaned in and put my hand on his shoulder to say mate, whatever you're doing, leave it and speak to me.</p><p>'That didn't have any effect and then he started shouting Allahu Akbar. He was saying it loudly. That's when the penny dropped what I was dealing with.</p><p>A map of the route Chowdhury had taken on the day of the attack outside of Buckingham Palace</p><p>'I saw the handle of a sword and decided to use more force than holding him back by the shoulder, so I punched him in the face.'</p><p>'My intention was to render him unconscious because I honestly feared for my life and my colleague's lives. I didn't know what could be in the vehicle, there could have been a firearm or explosives.'</p><p>PC Hutt managed to get Chowdhury's arm out of the window and yelled at another colleague to use CS spray which subdued Chowdhury and he was dragged from the car and arrested.</p><p>PC Midgley had said he grabbed something sharp, his injuries are seen above</p><p>A slash in the fabric of the passenger seat (left) can be seen as well as other marks on the car (right)</p><p>Chowdhury later sketched out a picture of an Islamic fighter shooting a police officer outside Downing Street which he pinned to his cell wall 'like a poster'</p><p>The prison cell was inspected on September 26 this year when prison officers found the sketch showing a fighter in a suicide vest, shooting an unarmed officer and yelling 'allahuakbar!'.</p><p>The picture was headed 'The exchange/the bargain' and carried the words: 'Respond to that which gives you life, shaheeds [martyrs] are alive! Allah has bought the lives of the believers in exchange for paradise.'</p><p>Chowdhury had acted odd when officers approached the car outside of Buckingham Palace</p><p>Mr Cray told the jury: 'This is not plain vanilla suicide or common or garden suicide. This means that the enemy gets killed and that is how you are going to do it.'</p><p>Another sketch on the wall showed a plane crashing into the Twin Towers, and he had pinned them to the wall 'almost like posters,' the jury heard.</p><p>Following another search on October 2, officers found a list headed 'Reject taghut [idolatory] and believe in Allah' that read: 'Cause of Taghut - democracy, communism. Allies of Satan - USA and all allies (Nato), UK/Canada/Australia, EU nations.'</p><p>The route taken by Chowdhary near Buckingham Palace (above)</p><p>There followed a list of 14 nations ending with 'South America' and another list headed: 'Ranks of Taghut - army, air force, navy, border guard, police.'</p><p>The rest of the list was ripped off, and at the bottom it read: 'Every country in the world is run by and fights in the cause of taghut. It is halal [permitted] to fight them.'</p><p>Chowdhury denies preparing terrorist acts by obtaining a Samurai sword, purchasing a knife sharpener, preparing a suicide note, and driving to the area adjacent to Buckingham Palace.</p><p>Dashcam footage of the incident recorded from the police officer's van was shown as evidence to the jury.</p><p>The police cordon outside of Buckingham Palace last year</p><p>The police should be aloud to shoot to kill the sc...</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • Canadian judge grants bail for Chinese Huawei CFO facing possible extradition to the US

    Canadian judge grants bail for Chinese Huawei CFO facing possible extradition to the US

    d Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on Tuesday in court in British Columbia. Wanzhou was arrested December 1 in Vancouver on a US warrant over alleged sanctions violations</p><p>A Canadian judge has granted bail to a top Chinese executive facing possible extradition to the US, it was announced Tuesday evening.  </p><p>After three days of hearings, Meng Wanzhou was released on bail of C$10million (US$7.4million) - on the condition she surrender her two passports and agree to wear an ankle bracelet.</p><p>She will have to stay in Vancouver and its suburbs and confine herself to one of her two Vancouver homes from 11pm to 6am. </p><p>The chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei - and daughter of its founder - had asked for bail in exchange for putting up her husband, children and C$11million in real estate as sureties. </p><p>Wanzhou was detained at the request of the US during a layover at the Vancouver airport on December 1 - the same day that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed to a 90-day cease-fire in a trade dispute that threatens to disrupt global commerce. </p><p>Justice William Ehrcke granted her bail Tuesday evening, according to the Associated Press. </p><p>Justice William Ehrcke of the British Columbia Supreme Court (seen top left) granted bail to Wanzhou (right in green) on the condition that she surrender her two passports, agree to wear an ankle monitor and stay in Vancouver and its suburbs under a court-issued curfew </p><p>After the news of the Wanzhou's release broke, President Trump indicated that the move - which is expected to placate angry Chinese officials - could be part of a broader trade deal with China.     </p><p>When asked if he would intervene with the Justice Department in her case, Trump told Reuters: 'Whatever’s good for this country, I would do.</p><p>'If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.'</p><p>Trump also said the White House has spoken with the Justice Department about the case, as well as Chinese officials.</p><p>'They have not called me yet. They are talking to my people. But they have not called me yet,' he said when asked if he has spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the case.</p><p>Wanzhou (left) speaks with lawyer David Martin (right) in court during a bail hearing Monday. The 46-year-old had asked for bail in exchange for putting up her husband, children and $11million in real estate as sureties</p><p>Wanzhou's lawyer called her treatment 'inhumane', claiming she should be freed soon because she suffers hypertension</p><p>The lawyer for Wanzhou said his team worked overnight Monday to make changes to its bail plan to help satisfy concerns that have been raised about her release.</p><p>David Martin said the defense contacted four potential sources to offer sureties for Huawei's CFO and prepared affidavits after the judge and a federal prosecutor questioned whether Wanzhou's husband would be a suitable person to ensure she complies with any bail conditions.</p><p>Martin said one person who is proposed to offer a financial guarantee is a realtor who met Wanzhou in 2009 and sold two properties to the couple.</p><p>The man has pledged his home, valued at C$1.8million (US$1.3million), and said he understands he would lose it if Wanzhou violated the conditions of her release.</p><p> A former Canadian diplomat has been detained in China, two sources said on Tuesday, and his current employer, the International Crisis Group, said it was seeking his prompt and safe release.</p><p>Michael Kovrig's detention comes after police in Canada arrested the chief financial officer of China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on Dec. 1 at the request of U.S. authorities, a move that infuriated Beijing.</p><p>It was not immediately clear if the cases were related, but the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver has stoked fears of reprisals against the foreign business community in China.</p><p>'International Crisis Group is aware of reports that its North East Asia Senior Adviser, Michael Kovrig, has been detained in China,' the think-tank said in a statement.</p><p>'We are doing everything possible to secure additional information on Michael's whereabouts as well as his prompt and safe release,' it added.</p><p>China's Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Public Security did not respond immediately to questions faxed earlier about Kovrig's detention.</p><p>The exact reason for the detention was not immediately clear.</p><p>The Canadian embassy declined to comment, referring queries to Ottawa.</p><p>Kovrig, a Mandarin speaker, has been working as a full-time expert for the International Crisis Group since February 2017.</p><p>From 2003 to 2016, he worked as a diplomat with stints in Beijing and Hong Kong, among others, according to his profile on LinkedIn. </p><p>Martin also read from the affidavit of another man who said he worked at Huawei in China in the mid-1990s and got to know Wanzhou on a personal level.</p><p>He vouched for Wanzhou's character to comply with any conditions imposed by the British Columbia Supreme Court and has pledged C$500,000 (US$373,000) from the equity on his home in Vancouver, which is valued at C$1.4million (US$1million).</p><p>Ehrcke questioned whether Liu Xiaozong could provide a surety because he is on a six-month visitor's visa to Canada and the form to provide the financial guarantee says it must be provided by a resident of British Columbia.</p><p>A surety is a guarantor responsible for ensuring she meets bail terms and who would legally be liable to pay fines if she did not. </p><p>Wanzhou said she has ties to Vancouver going back 15 years. She and her husband Xiaozong own two homes in the city, and she even had a Canadian permanent residency permit that she has since renounced.</p><p>He currently works as the chairman of Depu Education, a private international school in China's Chongqing city, the article claimed. </p><p>It is rumored that the school, aimed to recruit children from rich Chinese families, was co-founded by Wanzhou and Xiaozong with an investment of 1 billion yuan (US$145million). </p><p>Xiaozong, who was at the hearing, has offered the residences and C$1million in cash - for a total value of C$15million (US$11million) - as a surety for his wife's release, the court heard.</p><p>However a Canadian judge yesterday voiced doubts that Xiaozong could act as Wanzhou's 'surety' - a guarantor responsible for ensuring she meets bail terms and who would legally be liable to pay fines if she did not. </p><p>The issue of the surety was central to the postponing of the hearing on Monday - with Ehrcke saying he would not make a decision until both sides addressed 'the necessity and/or strong desirability of a surety being a resident of the province.'  </p><p>Xiaozong, whose visitor visa expires in February, is a risky surety from the prosecutors point of view because he is not a resident of Canada and therefore may not be present for the extradition proceedings which may last years. </p><p>The US wants Wanzhou to face allegations of fraud as it says Huawei used unofficial subsidiary Skycom to do business with Iranian telecommunications companies between 2009 and 2014 in violation of sanctions. </p><p>Wanzhou has denied the allegations through her lawyer in court, promising to fight them if she is extradited for face charges in the United States.</p><p>The case has fueled US-China trade tensions and roiled financial markets.  </p><p>The US has accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. </p><p>It also says Wanzhou and Huawei misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.</p><p>Liu Xiaozong (left), husband of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer arrives at a Vancouver, British Columbia courthouse following a break in the bail hearing for his wife on Monday, December 10</p><p>Beijing will 'spare no effort' to protect against 'any bullying that infringes the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens,' Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a conference in Shanghai.</p><p>Wang didn't mention the 46-year-old Huawei executive, but a ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said Wang was referring to cases of all Chinese abroad, including Wanzhou.</p><p>Huawei is the second-largest smartphone creator in the world.</p><p>Martin has said she should be granted bail before her extradition hearing because of severe hypertension and concerns about her health.  </p><p>In a 55-page sworn affidavit, Wanzhou said she has been treated in hospital for hypertension since her arrest.</p><p>'I continue to feel unwell and I am worried about my health deteriorating while I am incarcerated,' the affidavit read.</p><p>Wanzhou also said she had suffered numerous health problems, including surgery for thyroid cancer in 2011.  </p><p>Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang expressed fury over Wanzhou's treatment, citing China's state-run Global Times newspaper as reporting that 'it seems that the Canadian detention facility is not offering her the necessary health care.'</p><p>'We believe this is inhumane and violates her human rights,' Lu said at a regular press briefing.</p><p>Canadian Crown prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley has asked for bail to be denied, saying Wanzhou faces serious criminal accusations of fraud and poses a flight risk.</p><p>Wanzhou is specifically accused of lying to bankers about Huawei's use of a covert subsidiary to sell to Iran, putting multinational banks at risk of breaching US sanctions, and incurring severe penalties. </p><p>'Underneath the core of the fraud, a financial institution in the US is being induced to violate sanctions against Iran,' Gibb-Carsley said.</p><p>If convicted, she faces more than 30 years in prison. The extradition process could take months, even years, if appeals are made in the case. </p><p>'I wish to remain in Vancouver to contest my extradition and I will contest the allegations at trial in the US if I am ultimately surrendered,' she said.</p><p>Martin told the court: 'Given her unique profile as the face of a Chinese corporate national champion, if she were to flee or breach her order in any way in these very unique circumstances, it does not overstate to say she would embarrass China itself.' </p><p>He had a tracking bracelet on hand in case she was immediately released. </p><p>Stocks have fallen as tensions between the US and China soar as China demands the release of telecom giant Huawei's CFO (and founder's daughter) after she was arrested for 'violating U.S. sanctions on Iran'</p><p>'Someone here on a visitor's visa is not a resident of B.C. It's as simple as that, isn't it?' Justice Ehrcke asked David Martin in court.  </p><p>Ehrcke said he was unsure how Xiaozong could serve as his wife's surety if he had no authority order that Liu to remain in Canada. </p><p>'It would be a frustrating and unfortunate exercise if I were to make an order and then you find that there is no suitable surety,' Ehrcke said. </p><p>'If the conditions can't be fulfilled, she's held in custody so I'm thinking ahead to make sure that you don't find yourself potentially in that situation.'</p><p>Wanzhou's arrest has rocked stock markets and inflamed tensions amid a truce in the US-China trade war. </p><p>Analysts say the incident - the same day that presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day tariffs truce - could be used as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations between the United States and China.</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • Pictured: Man, 18, who was found brutally stabbed to death in London

    Pictured: Man, 18, who was found brutally stabbed to death in London

    on Saturday</p><p>Police have named a teenager killed in south-east London over the weekend as Aron Warren.</p><p>The 18-year-old was stabbed at a residential address in Greenwich on Saturday evening.</p><p>Officers from the Metropolitan Police were called to Topham House on Prior Street at 9.41pm, alongside paramedics from the London Air Ambulance, but Aron was pronounced dead a short time later.</p><p>Officers have appealed for anybody with information to get in touch.</p><p>Detective Chief Inspector Larry Smith said on Tuesday: 'While we continue to work to piece together the events that led to Aron's murder, I would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of Topham House in Prior Street around 9.15pm to contact police.</p><p>'We believe Aron was attacked inside the flat where he was residing in Topham House, so I am particularly keen to speak to anyone who let someone into the building prior to the murder or who saw anyone fleeing the scene.'</p><p>A 17-year-old boy previously arrested in connection with the incident has been released with no further action.</p><p>Police are appealing for anyone with information on the stabbing to come forward [file photo]</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • Man accused of killing Grace Millane wrote 'apology for selfishness' before her murder

    Man accused of killing Grace Millane wrote 'apology for selfishness' before her murder

    lane made a grovelling apology for the hurt he has caused to those he became close to.</p><p>In a social media post in October, he added: 'My clear arrogance and selfishness have truly affected the relationship I have had with people in my personal life.</p><p>'I am not proud of some (decisions)…I know that I was growing up, emotionally, mentally. When we grow up, we make mistakes. That's how we improve.</p><p>'In the exam of life, you can't retest yourself with the same question paper!</p><p>'But with that being said, we can change how we treat each other and over time I've learnt how much compassion we all have as people.'</p><p>A grovelling Facebook message posted in October said Kempson (left) was 'growing up' and he had 'made mistakes' in his life</p><p>Kempson was revealed to have written a grovelling apology on his social media months before Ms Millane (pictured) was murdered last week</p><p>In a rambling Facebook post before his arrest, he blamed his failings on the stress in his life.</p><p>'I've recently been diagnosed with severe anxiety and currently take medications to keep this under control.</p><p>'Putting all that aside, I just want anyone who I've hurt, let down to know I'm truly sorry from my heart.'</p><p>MailOnline exclusively revealed yesterday that his former flatmates saw him as a master of deception who lied his way into being welcomed into their Auckland home.</p><p>He told one flat mate that he was negotiating to buy a restaurant in The Viaduct, Auckland. But he was accused of choosing the wrong restaurant for his deception, as the food outlet was owned by her family. </p><p>Kempson was said to have posed in suits on Facebook despite having to borrow money from his grandparents to survive</p><p>Charged: Kempson, 26, is pictured here alongside a policeman on his way to court on Monday, in an image obscured in accordance with New Zealand law</p><p>Ms Millane had been travelling New Zealand when she disappeared on December 1. Her body was found more than a week later, on Sunday morning</p><p>She later found him working as a barman at the restaurant which she said caused him to flee.</p><p>He was also claimed to have fled owing rent and lying that his mother had passed away.</p><p>Friends told the newspaper he was given cash by his grandparents to move into the CityHotel in Auckland and blew his money on suits and watches to pose for pictures on the app.  </p><p>Kempson was detained by detectives at the weekend after Grace's family reported her missing, worried that she had stopped being in regular contact.</p><p>A former softball teammate told Daily Mail Australia Kempson was 'creepy' and 'obsessed with girls'</p><p>The remains of Ms Millane were found some ten yards from the road. Pictured: A forensics officer at over the scene on Sunday</p><p>Last seen: Ms Millane is seen at three locations in central Auckland on December 1st, a week before her body is found </p><p>Kempson's family revealed he was partly raised by his grandparents after his parents split up when he was a young child, and that he had lived with his mother in Sydney as a teenager.</p><p>Kempson had become estranged from his family in recent years, with his father telling Stuff he had not spoken to his son for two years because of 'a difference in opinion on life'.</p><p>Her father David, who flew to the country from Essex after she went missing on December 1, took part in the blessing with his brother and members of the New Zealand police force.</p><p>In an exclusive interview with MailOnline yesterday one of his former flatmates said that Kempson was a 'liar'</p><p>The father (right today) of a British backpacker murdered in New Zealand today took part in a traditional Maori blessing where her body was found</p><p>The body of Grace, 22, pictured right with her family, was discovered on Sunday afternoon as police arrested a 26-year-old suspect over the crime</p><p>November 20: Grace Millane arrives in New Zealand from Peru. She had been in nearly daily contact with her family.</p><p>November 30: Ms Millane posts her last tweet saying 'I think travelling has changed me I just brought some blue jeans.'</p><p>December 1: Ms Millane is seen on CCTV leaving a hotel in Auckland at 7.15pm. Jesse Kempson describes Ms Millane as 'beautiful and very radiant' in a comment on a Facebook photo at 9.29pm. She is seen at the CityLife Hotel, in Auckland, with a 'male companion' at 9.40pm. </p><p>December 2: The 22-year-old's birthday. Her family do not hear anything from her, which is unusual behaviour. Just before noon, a red Toyota Corolla is hired from a central Auckland rental firm.</p><p>December: 3: The Toyota Corolla is returned, and eventually rented out again to persons unrelated to the investigation</p><p>December 5: Her worried family file a missing persons report and pictured of Ms Millane are shared extensively online. </p><p>December 7:  Police said they had received dozens of calls to a hotline and more than 25 staff were working on the case, trawling through hours of CCTV footage to trace her movements. After arriving in Auckland her father, David Millane, makes an emotional plea for help finding his daughter. Police reveal they have spoken to the male companion and he is a person of interest. The man was not taken into custody and police said there was no evidence of foul play.</p><p>December 8:  A 26-year-old man is taken into custody at a central Auckland address by police. The red Toyota is located in the town of Taupo</p><p>December 9: Police announce they are searching an area on Scenic Drive, near the Waitakere Reservoir. Shortly after 4pm local time (3am GMT), police find a body believed to be Ms Millane in vegetation around ten yards from the road. A 26-year-old man is charged with her murder.</p><p>December 10: Jesse Kempson, 26, appears in court in Auckland. He does not enter a plea.</p><p>Several friends of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane gathered in Queenstown, New Zealand for a vigil just days after her death.</p><p>The mourners, led by a friend of her brother Declan's, Josh Lewis, laid a birthday cake for Grace after she disappeared two weeks ago the night before she was due to turn 22.  </p><p>Lewis said he had flown out to New Zealand hoping to catch up with his close mate's younger sister, but he never got the chance. </p><p>Grace was found dead about 10 metres from the side of a road in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges on Sunday. A 26-year-old man has been charged with her murder.</p><p>Around 100 people were pictured mourning together in the rain at the Queenstown waterfront on Tuesday night.   </p><p>'I know she was here on her own. She probably wouldn't have got a cake. I obviously wasn't in Auckland at the time so this way she has one.' </p><p>Vigils have been planned all around New Zealand to express grief at the alleged murder. </p><p>Josh Lewis, of Essex, a close friend of Grace Millane's brother Declan, left a birthday cake for Grace at the vigil in Queenstown on Tuesday</p><p>Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • Disgraced Labour MP Kate Osamor apologises for 'emotional outbursts'

    Disgraced Labour MP Kate Osamor apologises for 'emotional outbursts'

    p>Disgraced Labour MP Kate Osamor has apologised for her 'emotional outbursts' just two weeks after resigning following the revelation she threatened a journalist with a baseball bat.</p><p>Her son Ishmael, 29, had been found with drugs worth £2,500 at the Bestival music festival in Dorset in 2017 and was given a community sentence on October 19.</p><p>The embattled MP posted a grovelling apology on Tuesday in which she said recent events had 'taken a toll on her health'. </p><p>'Recent weeks have taken their toll on my health,' Osamor tweeted.</p><p>'I am deeply sorry for my emotional outbursts and I am working to better manage my feelings. I ask for space and understanding so I can care for my family and get us through this difficult time.' </p><p>The disgraced Labour MP posted a tweet on Tuesday in which she said she was 'working better to manage her feelings'</p><p>Kate Osamor (right) voted for Jeremy Corbyn (left) to become labour leader </p><p>Son Ishmael worked full time in his mother's office and lives with her in a £700,000 housing association property near Turnpike Lane in North London.</p><p>The Labour politician had defended keeping Ishmael in his £50,000-a-year job by claiming she had been unaware of his crimes at the time.</p><p>But it later emerged that she had in fact known, and had sent letters of correspondence to the judge requesting leniency.</p><p>When approached by reporters at her house, Miss Osamor, formerly Labour's International Development spokesperson, told a journalist she 'should have come down here with a bat and smashed your face in', threw a bucket of water over him and called the police, according to reports.</p><p>Ishmael Osamor (left) and his MP mother Kate Osamor (right)</p><p>Kate Osamor resigned from Labour’s Shadow Cabinet hours after reports she had told the journalist to ‘f*** off’ and threatened him </p><p>The North London MP was being challenged to answer claims she had misled the public over when she first knew of the drugs conviction against her son, whom she still employs in her Commons office.</p><p>But within barely 24 hours of the confrontation, Ms Osamor – a close supporter of the Labour leader – quit as Mr Corbyn’s Shadow International Development Secretary and Mr Corbyn was forced to interrupt a trip to Mexico, for the inauguration of the country’s new president, to confirm she was going</p><p>Her departure amounts to a personal humiliation for the Labour leader who has stood by Ms Osamor and who nominated her mother, community activist Martha Osamor, for a peerage, which she is formally due to take up this week.</p><p>The North London MP has faced questions over when she first knew of her son’s conviction and her decision to continue to employ him in her Commons office.</p><p>Labour has previously insisted she was unaware of the case until her son was sentenced in October.  </p><p>Despite earning £130,000 between them, Kate Osamor and her drug dealer son Ishmael live in a social housing property in North London.</p><p>Such homes are intended for those on low incomes yet earlier this month it emerged that Osamor, paid £77,000 a year, voted against raising rent for high earners living in social housing.</p><p>In three votes in 2015 and 2016, she also blocked proposals that would have seen her pay market rent. The plans classed high earners as households where two adults earn £20,000 each or more.</p><p>Since being convicted of possessing drugs with intent to supply, her son has kept his taxpayer-funded Commons job as her communications officer. The prosecution accepted he was not selling drugs. Next week the MP’s mother, Martha, takes her place in the House of Lords as Baroness Osamor after being nominated by Jeremy Corbyn.</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • Two dead and 12 injured in Strasbourg shooting

    Two dead and 12 injured in Strasbourg shooting

    , 'three of four' of whom may have life-threatening injuries, according to town mayor Roland Ries.</p><p>The shooting took place close to the historic Christmas market in Strasbourg's central square Place Kleber. </p><p>Police have announced they know the identity of the gunman, who has a criminal record and was a designated 'threat to the state' on a security services watchlist. </p><p>He fled the scene after a shootout with police, having previously been wounded by a soldier close to the scene. In fleeing the market, the shooter took a taxi. The driver disclosed to police that he was injured. He is understood to have become cornered by police in the Neudorf district.</p><p>It is not yet clear if the market was the target of the attack or if there was any link to terrorism. The alleged killer was identified following DNA tests and the examination of CCTV images. </p><p>People on the floor can be seen wrapped in blankets following the shooting which took place close to the Christmas market</p><p>An emergency worker was pictured running with a stretcher towards the scene of the shooting near the Christmas market in Strasbourg</p><p>The map above shows the area where the attack took place. The French city of Strasbourg is on the German border</p><p>He had been sentenced to two years in prison in 2011 following a knife attack on a 16-year-old, according to an investigating source.</p><p>Police said they were investigating a possible motive of terrorism for the shooting and that a special anti-terrorism prosecutor was assessing the situation. </p><p>French newspapers have reported that the suspect is a 29-year-old male who was said to be 'known to authorities'.</p><p>At around 11pm GMT the man was holed-up in a flat in Rue d’Epinal, in the Neudorf district, as raid police surrounded the building.</p><p>Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries later confirmed that the gunman had ‘got away in a taxi'. He said a taxi driver was hijacked before midnight, and was forced to drive away at gunpoint. The driver was later found in an undisclosed part of the city, and was unharmed.</p><p>He said the market would not reopen on Wednesday and that city flags would be flown at half mast. It has not yet been decided whether schools will open in the city, large parts of which are still on police lockdown.</p><p>Two hundred and sixty police officers are currently patrolling in the vicinity of the market, which was also the subject of a December 2000 bomb plot by al-Qaeda. </p><p>Basketball supporters were held up at the Rhenus Sport stadium in Strasbourg, eastern France following the shooting</p><p>A spokesman for Paris prosecutors said: ‘An investigation has been opened for assassinations and attempted assassinations in connection with a terrorist enterprise, and for criminal conspiracy.’</p><p>The spokesman said online groups linked to Islamic State were ‘celebrating the attacks’, but no terrorist group had yet claimed responsibility.</p><p>He was on a ‘S’ for Security List, meaning he was a danger to national security, and is believed to have been ‘radicalised’, according to Interior Ministry sources.   </p><p>‘He began shooting on Rue des Orfevres, close to a Christmas Market in the city at around 8pm,’ said a spokesman for the local police department.</p><p>Security forces have secured the surrounding areas of the Christmas market and the shooter has now been identified</p><p>‘The opening shots wounded a number of people, and there were fatalities. The shooter was quickly identified, and police gave chase.</p><p>‘He was wounded in a subsequent gunfight. Soldiers are involved in trying to bring him into custody.’</p><p>Le Figaro has reported that the suspect was due to be arrested on Tuesday morning for a previous robbery, but was not at home when police arrived to arrest him. </p><p>The French Interior Ministry has called on the public to remain indoors following the shooting. </p><p>Security officials have cordoned off the area and trams have now stopped running.</p><p>Police patrolled the streets after the gunman was cornered by police officers following a chase  </p><p>The French Interior Ministry has called on the public to remain indoors following the shooting at the Christmas market</p><p>Local authorities in the Grand-Est and Bas-Rhin have advised the public to 'avoid the area of the police station,' which is close to the city's Christmas market. </p><p>Restaurants in the area have locked their doors and are not letting people out. </p><p>The Strasbourg-based European Parliament was on lockdown after reports of the shooting emerged, with MEPs, staff and journalists unable to leave the building.</p><p>French emergency vehicles entered the shooting site at the Christmas market in Strasbourg, which has left four people dead</p><p>The parliament is currently in a session of conference which all members are obliged to attend, with hundreds of MEPs and officials having made the monthly visit to Strasbourg from Brussels.</p><p>The European Parliament building is around two miles from the centre of Strasbourg.</p><p>Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted her condolences to the victims, saying that she was 'shocked and saddened' by events. </p><p>French President Emmanuel Macron is being kept informed of unfolding events, according to his office.</p><p>Macron is said to have cut a meeting short after being informed of the situation and is sending his interior minister, Christophe Castaner to the French city, officials at the Elysee palace have said.</p><p>Emergency service teams standing in the Neudorf area following the shooting, which has left eleven people critically injured</p><p>A French police van rushed next to the shooting site at the Christmas market in Strasbourg, the gunman has been on the run all evening</p><p>Staff at the European Parliament building (above) wait to receive news on when they can leave the building after police launched a manhunt for the suspect </p><p>President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker has paid tribute to the victims and condemned the attack in Strasbourg, which he called ‘a town which symbolises European democracy’.</p><p>Elsewhere, one witness, Doris Manou, told the BBC: 'Earlier on I was walking around the Christmas market in central Strasbourg and I passed Place Kleber where the shooting took place just minutes before it happened.</p><p>'Then I continued walking on Rue du Dome when I saw the army with a group of 10-12 soldiers walking towards me with their guns pointed to the street and around them everyone was running from all directions.</p><p>Rescue workers have been out helping people on the streets of Strasbourg after the shooting broke out</p><p>Images showed people running away from the square where the shots were fired and army officials soon swooped the streets </p><p>Local authorities had advised residents to stay indoors and avoid the area close to the police station in the city</p><p>'The soldiers were very focused on their mission, they were running.'</p><p>She said she and several others then threw themselves to the floor in a courtyard of a building thinking there could be a bomb, before some students in a nearby building offered them refuge.</p><p>Police, firefighters and emergency services intervened after the shooting and the streets appeared clear of tourists </p><p>The entrance to the Christmas market in Strasbourg (pictured above) which is a popular tourist destination in the winter </p><p>Officers have secured the area surrounding the Christmas market following the shooting which took place early evening on Tuesday 11 December</p><p>Local residents also reported hearing gunfire in some parts of the city centre. </p><p>Sinn Fein politician Martina Anderson, a Member of the European Parliament representing Northern Ireland, tweeted: 'We were in the centre of Strasbourg town when gun shots went off.' She added: 'My thoughts &amp; prayers with all who are injured.'</p><p>Pedestrians gathered in the square, close to where the shooting took place around the Christmas Tree</p><p>Video images from the scene show people outside of cosmetics store Kiko following the shooting </p><p>A police officer is seen securing the street surrounding the area following the shooting where the gunman had been shot by a soldier </p><p>Yorkshire and Humber MEP Richard Corbett also added on Twitter that he was in a restaurant in the city 'where shots (were) fired'. He said the restaurant was 'not letting anyone in or out'. </p><p>Earlier in the evening, Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, tweeted: 'The police informed me tonight of a shooting in Strasbourg with possibly one victim and several wounded. The perpetrator is still on the run.</p><p>'This is a serious incident and I advise all staff and visitors to stay at home or indoors for the moment.' </p><p>Emergency services on the scene in Strasbourg, France, following the incident where four people have died </p><p>Deputy mayor of the city, Alain Fontanel tweeted: ' Thanks to all for staying at home until the situation has been clarified'</p><p>The French military (above) has now been called in to patrol the streets surrounding the Christmas market</p><p>The Director General for Communication and Spokesperson of the European Parliament Jaume Duch, tweeted that MPs and staff had received text messages and emails to indicate their safety.</p><p>A police car is seen stationed outside of the Christmas market as well as officers on mopeds</p><p>Sinn Fein politician Martina Anderson, a Member of the European Parliament representing Northern Ireland, tweeted: 'We were in the centre of Strasbourg town when gun shots went off.'</p><p>The surrounding streets close to the Christmas market seem to be lined with emergency services </p><p>The market has more than 300 stalls, strips of fairy lights, a huge Christmas Tree as well as various shows and concerts being put on throughout the festive period. </p><p>Strasbourg Christmas market is one of the oldest in Europe with 300 wooden chalets set up in the city's historic centre from November 23 to Christmas Eve.</p><p>One of the biggest Christmas trees in Europe is put up in Place Kleber, the largest square in the city, which was named after French general Jean-Baptiste Kleber who was born in Strasbourg in 1753. </p><p>Jaume Duch is the Director General for Communication and Spokesperson of the European Parliament</p><p>The European Parliament site in Strasbourg (pictured above) was put on lock down following the incident </p><p>Images show armed police on the scene at the Christmas market in Strasbourg</p><p>I was hoping these holidays would be safer than th...</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • Huawei Executive Granted Bail by Canadian Court

    Huawei Executive Granted Bail by Canadian Court

    ve of the Chinese technology company Huawei, was granted bail of 10 million Canadian dollars, or about $7.5 million, while awaiting extradition to the United States from Canada, a judge ruled on Tuesday.</p><p>“I am satisfied that on the particular facts of this case, including the fact that Ms. Meng is a well-educated businesswoman who has no criminal record and of whom several people have attested to her good character, the risk of her non-attendance in court can be reduced to an acceptable level,” Justice William Ehrcke said in his ruling.</p><p>Ms. Meng and her husband will be responsible for a 7 million dollar cash deposit for bail, with the remaining 3 million dollars coming from her acquaintances. She will be released upon completion of court paperwork.</p><p>Ms. Meng will be subject to 24-hour physical and electronic surveillance, which she plans to pay for herself. The surveillance will include two security guards and a driver, in addition to GPS monitoring. She will also be under curfew between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., the judge said.</p><p>Ms. Meng, who has been in detention for 10 nights, hugged her lawyers and shook their hands as she cried. Her next court date will be on Feb. 6.</p><p>In a statement, Huawei said, “We look forward to a timely resolution to this matter.”</p><p>Ms. Meng’s lawyers said that she resigned from Skycom’s board in 2009 and that Huawei divested its stake in the company. But Canadian and American authorities have said Huawei operated Skycom as an unofficial subsidiary, allowing Skycom employees to use Huawei bank accounts and email addresses. Huawei convinced financial institutions that Skycom was independently operated, and the banks then cleared transactions with Skycom that violated United States sanctions against Iran, according to an affidavit.</p><p>The American government’s case against Ms. Meng appears to center on a 2013 presentation she made to the global bank HSBC, in which she claimed that Huawei had sold its Skycom shares and was no longer directly supervising the company. That presentation constituted fraud, a lawyer from Canada’s attorney general’s office has argued.</p><p>The United States has 60 days from Ms. Meng’s arrest on Dec. 1 to file a formal extradition request with Canadian authorities. Canada grants around 90 percent of extradition requests that are heard in court, owing to 1999 changes to its extradition laws. If an extradition request is granted, Ms. Meng will have several options to appeal, and the process could take many months.</p><p>Authorities in the United States and Canada had argued Ms. Meng should be held without bail, given her vast financial resources and the fact that China does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.</p><p>David Martin, a lawyer for Ms. Meng, initially said that she would offer 1 million dollars in cash and two homes that her husband, Liu Xiaozong, owns in Vancouver, worth about 14 million dollars, to secure her bail.</p><p>But the bail decision was complicated by the immigration status of Ms. Meng’s husband. Mr. Liu arrived in Canada from China after his wife’s arrest and can stay for six months on a visitor’s visa. A Canadian government lawyer argued that Mr. Liu could not be responsible for Ms. Meng’s bail because he may have to leave the country before her case is resolved.</p><p>Mr. Martin said on Tuesday that four family friends and neighbors who are Canadian residents had offered their homes and cash to cover Ms. Meng’s bail, an arrangement that may have eased concerns about Mr. Liu’s immigration status. Some of those who volunteered to help with Ms. Meng’s bail are former Huawei employees.</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • Upgrade Would Arm Japan with First Aircraft Carriers Since World War II

    Upgrade Would Arm Japan with First Aircraft Carriers Since World War II

    y capabilities by advancing plans for aircraft carriers that can launch fighter jets.</p><p>The plans, contained in a draft of new defense guidelines approved by the governing parties, would effectively arm Japan with its first aircraft carriers since World War II, with potential striking powers well beyond Japanese territory.</p><p>The move risks inflaming a politically delicate debate in Japan over whether such expanded military capability is compatible with the country’s pacifist constitution. The plans could be construed as offensive weapons beyond those deemed necessary for self-defense.</p><p>Under the change, large Japanese naval vessels now equipped with helicopters would be upgraded, enabling them to carry jet fighters capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings, and equipped with stealth technology to avoid detection.</p><p>Kyodo quoted unidentified government sources as saying that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet intended to endorse the revised guidelines this month.</p><p>Military analysts in the United States said the upgrades, which Japanese defense officials have been talking about for a while, reflected Japan’s shared concern with the United States about the growing assertiveness of China’s aerial and naval forces in the Pacific.</p><p>Japan and China have been locked in a longstanding dispute over East China Sea islands that the Japanese call the Senkaku and the Chinese call the Diaoyu. Japanese officials are also increasingly concerned about North Korea’s military capabilities.</p><p>In such situations, he said in a telephone interview, “the single most valuable asset is the use of air power, and carrier power when you don’t have air bases nearby.”</p><p>While supporters of the Japanese upgrades would argue that they are defensive, Mr. Wertheim said, such a change “improves Japan’s capability to project power.”</p><p>The agency quoted Japan’s defense minister, Takeshi Iwaya, as telling reporters that since the Izumo had originally been designed as a multipurpose escort ship, “it wouldn’t pose any threat to other countries if fighter jets are deployed on it.”</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • News Analysis: E.U. Hoped to Put Its House in Order This Year. Not Even Close.

    News Analysis: E.U. Hoped to Put Its House in Order This Year. Not Even Close.

    s house in order. It would finally ratify a deal with Britain on its departure from the bloc. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, with his grand plans to revitalize the Continent, would succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany as the union’s de facto leader. Democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland would be curbed. Populism would be contained.</p><p>“This is a moment of truth, a moment of recognition that things are more difficult than they seemed a year ago,” said Pierre Vimont, a former French ambassador and former director of the European foreign service.</p><p>That the recent turmoil is coming from the three traditional powers of Western Europe — once considered sources of political stability — speaks to how no corner of Europe has been immune to the political fractures that have spread since the 2008 financial crisis and then gathered speed with the migration crisis in 2015.</p><p>Later this week, European leaders will gather in Brussels for an end-of-the-year summit meeting that was supposed to offer a chance to get Britain’s departure from the union, or Brexit, off the agenda and set the terms for next spring’s elections for a new European Parliament. European elections have usually mystified voters in the bloc’s 28 member states, yet the results could be pivotal this time, as far-right parties hope to use the races to increase their power in Brussels.</p><p>The immediate question is who can organize and lead Europe now, as a new generation of politicians, in Germany and elsewhere, slowly emerges, said Daniela Schwarzer, the director of the German Council on Foreign Relations. With the current European Commission and Parliament nearing the end of their mandates, and both Ms. Merkel and Mr. Macron weakened, there is no compelling pan-European leader.</p><p>“With Brexit and increasing tension and polarization between governments in the E.U. and the weakness of the Brussels system, there’s more of a role for national and multilateral initiatives,” Ms. Schwarzer said. “But if we move that way, we need leaders, at least people who can motivate and lead smaller groups of countries.”</p><p>No question the bloc has a litany of problems — populism, the challenge to the rule of law from Hungary and Poland, the threats to the euro common currency, the Italian budget challenge, Russia’s cyber-assault on democracy and threatening moves in Ukraine, and President Trump’s hectoring contempt.</p><p>Many had hoped Mr. Macron and his reform program would strengthen a long-moribund France and provide decisive leadership for Europe. But confronted for the past month with the protests of the enraged Yellow Vests, Mr. Macron on Monday used a national address to try to defuse the crisis by offering tax breaks and wage increases to the working class.</p><p>In doing so, Mr. Macron risked damaging his credibility among Europeans who admired his tough reform program. To some, he now looks like another in a long line of French presidents who have caved to street demonstrations and violence. The question is whether his announced tax reductions and wage improvements could blow a hole in France’s budget, already in danger of breaching the European Union’s guidelines of 3 percent of gross domestic product.</p><p>Dominique Moïsi, a French political scientist at the Institut Montaigne, a research group, said European leadership was diminished because the leaders of key countries such as Britain, France and Germany were now all focused inward and “hold little power in a game of competitive decay.”</p><p>“This is the moment when Europe should be playing an important role, but Europe is totally self-centered, obsessed by itself and what will happen tomorrow in Britain, France and Germany,” he said, adding that “most worrisome is Macron’s France. Macron was the carrier of hope, but now he’s the carrier of despair and anger.”</p><p>Political turmoil that threatens the French Republic, so central to the European project, would be devastating, Mr. Moïsi said.</p><p>“If Macron fails, the future of France is the present of Italy” — a revival, he fears, of the country’s extremes, especially the far-right National Front, now rebranded as “National Rally,” and still led by Marine Le Pen.</p><p>Mr. Vimont, the former director of the European foreign service, warned that the bloc’s problems transcended Britain, France and Germany to include countries like Sweden, which is still without a government after a strong populist vote; Belgium, where the populist right-wing party just quit the government over migration; and Spain, the Netherlands and Denmark, where government majorities are thin and popular anger is rising over issues of migration, Islam and identity.</p><p>“There are different forms, but the same cause: economic policy, globalization, new technology, a new multipolar world, the rise of China,” Mr. Vimont said. “It boils down to the dissatisfaction of a large number of our citizens, who are saying so loud and clear, and no one has been able yet to propose a future that takes account of that discontent.”</p><p>The European Parliament elections in May will be the next test, given how disconnected the races seem to the lives of ordinary people. Already, far-right parties across the Continent are organizing, in hopes of winning a big share of seats, while establishment parties are struggling to present a compelling case for European unity.</p><p>“Will people see the importance of this vote?” Mr. Vimont asked. “And if they vote, will they vote for the right reasons? Will it be a vote for Europe, or, as I fear, a nationalist rebuke to governments?”</p><p>With Brexit still hanging over Brussels, no one expects the European summit meeting on Thursday and Friday to produce anything very dramatic, let alone a breakthrough on critical issues like migration, with both Belgian and Slovak politicians sharply criticizing even a bland, nonbinding “pact” on migration offered by the United Nations.</p><p>“That shows you where the debate on migration is,” said Ms. Schwarzer of the German Council on Foreign Relations. “And that’s the big issue in the E.U. election campaign that will be emphasized by the far right.”</p><p>Mr. Vimont sees only more turmoil to come. The current governing coalition in Germany is very fragile. The Italian populist coalition could also splinter, while Sweden, Belgium, Spain and other countries also face uncertain times.</p><p>“It’s a whole new political landscape that will slowly emerge,” he said. “We can only hope for more innovative ideas for Europe.”</p>

    1 December 12, 2018
  • Macron’s Proposal to Mollify Yellow Vest Protesters Fails to Impress

    Macron’s Proposal to Mollify Yellow Vest Protesters Fails to Impress

    ancial proposal, intended to end protests by France’s middle class and working poor, was still sinking in Tuesday, but many of the protesters already were expressing disappointment and calling for new demonstrations this weekend.</p><p>The proposals showed that the president was prepared to move “quickly and forcefully” to respond to the anger of working people who cannot make ends meet, said Édouard Philippe, the prime minister.</p><p>But the intended beneficiaries of the changes said they were doubtful about how helpful they would be, and local elected officials said their constituents had mixed views of the president’s plan and his tone.</p><p>For the mayor of Plaisir, a town on the far outskirts of Paris, the proposal was a “first step that resembles an immediate band aid, to try to stop this uncontrolled wave,” said Joséphine Kollmannsberger. She watched the speech Monday with 50 local shopkeepers.</p><p>“There is real suffering in France, in the provinces there are deep difficulties,” the mayor added, with citizens suffering from low incomes and villages and towns struggling to afford the services they offer.</p><p>Although Mr. Macron’s proposals were not insignificant — they will cost the French government about 10 billion euros, or about $11.3 billion, said Bruno Le Maire, the finance minister — they will not touch many of those who have been demonstrating, who already earn more than the minimum wage and so will not benefit from the increase.</p><p>And among the lowest earners, many viewed Mr. Macron as deceptive in his description of how much he would help people taking home the minimum wage.</p><p>“He made it sound like he was increasing the SMIC,” said Joelle Santos, who works as a janitor in Paris, referring to the minimum wage by its French acronym.</p><p>“But he’s not really helping. He’s a banker, he knows what he’s doing. It is not part of the salary, it won’t help when we retire,” she said.</p><p>Her disappointment comes from the fine print on the changes Mr. Macron announced in the minimum wage.</p><p>Instead of raising the base wage, which would have raised costs for businesses, he accelerated already-planned increases in a government subsidy that low-wage earners can claim.</p><p>But the subsidy does not count toward a worker’s monthly salary figure and so is not part of the calculation for unemployment or retirement benefits. Nor are all low-wage earners automatically eligible for the subsidy.</p><p>While the proposals may have failed to impress many, the news for the government was not all bad.</p><p>“The support for the protesters was already going down because some people were upset by the economic consequences and frightened by the violence,” said Brice Teinturier, the deputy director general of the Ipsos Institute, a polling firm.</p><p>In polls taken before the president’s announcement, the support for the Yellow Vests movement had dropped from between 70 and 80 percent to 60 percent, he said.</p><p>Another poll, taken just after the president’s announcement of the financial measures, suggested people were still sorting out their views. While more than half of those polled said they wanted the protests to stop, the same percentage of respondents said they also sympathized with the protesters.</p><p>Mr. Teinturier said the amount of money Mr. Macron was going to dole out to low earners was enough to make a difference, but it did not address the demands for a more fair distribution of incomes between rich and poor.</p><p>“The dimension of fiscal justice, which is one of the motors of the movement, the feeling that the efforts are not equally shared, to that he did not respond,” Mr. Teinturier said.</p><p>A Yellow Vest protester from eastern France, Axelle Cavalheiro, who has traveled to Paris twice to protest, said she had been hopeful before the president’s speech, but was disappointed by his plan.</p><p>“It doesn’t help me,” said Ms. Cavalheiro, of the president’s announcement. “I don’t know any one in my group of Yellow Vests whom it will help. Most of us earn more than the minimum wage, but not enough to pay for things we need.”</p><p>Still, Ms. Cavalheiro said she might not be able to come this weekend to protest, suggesting an exhaustion factor for some of the Yellow Vests, even as dissatisfaction with the president’s policies remains high.</p><p>“With Macron, the rich just get richer and the poor get poorer,” she said.</p><p>Aurelien Breeden and Liz Alderman contributed reporting.</p>

    1 December 12, 2018


Earn free bitcoin