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Convinced Donald Trump to remain in Syria: Emmanuel Macron



Paris, April 16: French President Emmanuel Macron said that he “convinced” his American counterpart Donald Trump to remain in Syria before the coordinated strikes launched against targeted Syrian government sites in response to an alleged chemical attack, the media reported.

“Ten days ago, President Trump said the US’s will is to disengage from Syria. We convinced him that it was necessary to stay,” CNN quoted Macron as saying on Sunday during a two-hour televised interview with several French media outlets.

On Friday night, the US, France and the UK launched a series of strikes on a research laboratory and two storage facilities associated with Syria’s chemical weapons programme.

Satellite images of the facilities, located west of Homs and near the capital Damascus, before and after the strikes appear to show they suffered extensive damage.

France also convinced Trump that the strikes had to be limited to suspected chemical weapons sites, Macron added.

Prior to the strikes, there had been reports that Trump wanted to see tougher, more extended action in Syria but was talked down by his national security team.

The strike was fiercely condemned by Syria’s main ally Russia, who attempted to bring a motion in the UN Security Council on Saturday to denounce the “aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic by the US and its allies”.

During Sunday’s interview, Macron said Russian President Vladimir Putin was an “accomplice” to Syria’s alleged use of chemicals weapons.

“They have not used chlorine themselves, but they have methodically contributed to the international community’s powerlessness to prevent the use of chemical weapons by diplomatic means,” CNN quoted the French leader as saying.

The French President said his country had not declared war on Syria, calling the strikes a “reprisal” for violations of the treaty banning the use of chemical weapons.

“There has been repeated and proven violations of the treaty,” he said.

Friday night’s strikes were a response to the suspected chemical weapons attack on civilians in Douma, outside Damascus, on April 7 where over 70 people including children were killed.

Inspectors for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were due to go to Douma on Sunday after arriving in Syria shortly after Saturday’s strikes, and are yet to report on any findings.

The US and its allies have been criticized for acting before inspectors had a chance to examine the site.

Politicians in France and the UK on Monday will seek answers from the countries’ leaders about their decision to launch strikes without formal approval.

Protests against the strikes were held around the world Saturday, including in major cities in the UK, Mexico, Greece and the US.


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Trump warns Iran’s Rouhani: Threaten US and you will suffer



Washington, July 23:  President Donald Trump on Sunday warned Iran of “consequences that Tehran have never ever suffered” is it threatens the United States.





“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” Trump said, writing the entire message in capital letters.

The response came after Rouhani earlier Sunday issued his own warning to the US leader not to “play with the lion’s tail,” saying that conflict with Iran would be the “mother of all wars”.

The  verbal confrontation   is reminiscent of the heated exchanges Trump had last year with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un,

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Macron orders reshuffle over President’s security aide scandal



Emmanuel Macron

Paris, July 23:Emmanuel Macron has ordered reshuffling of the staff members after one of the French president’s top security officer was filmed hitting and stamping on a young man at a Paris demonstration while dressed as a police officer. Macron discussed the row with several ministers on Sunday.

Macron is under immense pressure to order an inquiry into the scandal that erupted when Le Monde published a video showing Alexandre Benalla, a senior member of security staff at the Élysée Palace, in a Paris square where riot police were using tear gas to move on young people during labour day street gatherings on 1 May. Alexandre Benalla, who was Macron’s top bodyguard, is seen dragging away a woman and then beating a man during May Day protests in Paris.

The French public prosecutor opened a preliminary inquiry on Thursday into a raft of possible charges including violence by a public official, pretending to be a member of the police and illegally using police insignia.

He has been charged with group violence and illegally wearing a police badge. Benalla was fired on Friday.
The French presidency has been accused of being aware of the incident and intentionally covering the scandal and failing to act swiftly against Benalla.
An official said Macron had described the incident “unacceptable” and promised there would be “no impunity”.

There rae reports that senior presidential official Alexis Kohler will rejig Macron’s private office so as to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Three policemen have also been charged in connection with the incident. They were questioned on Saturday for allegedly leaking security footage to try and prove Benalla’s innocence.

The video was posted on social media in May, but the case became a political scandal after Le Monde newspaper revealed that the attacker was Benalla, aged 26.

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Toronto Shooting : Multiple people shot outside restaurant



Toronto, July 23: Multiple people were shot outside restaurant around 10 p.m. in Toronto, Canada’s Danforth.

According to police, the shooter is dead. Police also appealed to eye witness’ to provide any information about the shooting.

Toronto police said they they are investigating reports of a shooting in the area of Danforth and Logan avenues.

About eight people have been transported to various hospitals out of which six persons have been taken to trauma hospitals, one to a pediatric trauma center and one to a local hospital, Toronto Paramedic Services.

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