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France considering to ban foreign funding of mosques

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Following recent terror attacks, the French government is considering a ban on foreign financing of mosques in the country, the media reported on Friday.
According to Le Monde, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that the prohibition would be for an indefinite period but gave no further details.
“There needs to be a thorough review to form a new relationship with French Islam,” he added.We live in a changed era and we must change our behaviour. This is a revolution in our security culture… the fight against radicalisation will be the task of a generation,” the Independent quoted Valls as saying.
France was “at war” and further atrocities were predicted, Valls said, following the murder of a priest at a church in Normandy and the attack in Nice in Grench Riveira by Islamic State supporters.
“This war, which does not concern only France, will be long and we will see more attacks,” the Prime Minister said. “But we will win, because France has a strategy to win this war. First, we must crush the external enemy.”
The French government has come under increasing criticism for failing to prevent atrocities, including the attack in a Normandy church.
Security services were tipped off that Abdel Malik Petitjean, 19, was planning an attack but police were reportedly unable to identify him from photos and a video showing him declaring allegiance to the Islamic State terror group, the Independent reported.
He was already on country’s “fiche S” terror watch list, an indicator used by France law enforcement apparatus to signal an individual considered to be a serious threat to national security. He attempted to travel to Syria in June but was intercepted by Turkish authorities and forced to return to France.
Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, 19, took six people hostage at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy and slit the throat of its priest, Father Jacques Hamel. Both were shot dead by police.
Kermiche was also known to security services and was wearing an electronic surveillance tag while on bail as he awaited trial for membership of a terror organisation at the time.
It came less than a fortnight after the Nice attack, when a Tunisian man killed 84 persons and injured over 300 when he ploughed a lorry into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.
Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was not among the 10,000 names on the “fiche S” but the inclusion of terrorists, among them, several of the Paris attackers, the two Charlie Hebdo gunmen and their accomplice Amedy Coulibaly, as well as a lorry driver who beheaded his manager and attempted to blow up a chemical plant, has shown the system to be ineffective, said the Independent.
Intelligence officials have admitted that they are under-resourced to deal with the potential threat from each individual, who would need up to 20 people monitoring them every day.
France’s continuing state of emergency has drastically expanded security forces’ detention powers, sparking a wave of controversial house arrests since November.
Responding to criticism, Valls said his government would not create a “French Guantanamo” or be swayed by populism.

Disaster

32,000 COVID-19 cases in France, nearly 2,000 deaths

“The epidemic continues to worsen. The entire hospital establishments in the country, public and private, are mobilized,” said Salomon, adding that 576 of them now receive COVID-19 patients.

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Coronavirus Treatment

Paris, March 28 : The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France has risen by 13 per cent within a day to reach a total of 32,964 as of Friday, the 11th day of national lockdown imposed to contain the outbreak, Health General Director Jerome Salomon said.

A total of 1,995 people had died, an increase of 299 from Thursday, Salomon added in an update, reported Xinhua news agency.

Further 1,828 people diagnosed with the COIVD-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, had received treatment in hospitals in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of hospitalized patients to 15,732. That included 3,787 serious cases, a daily jump of 472.

Some 5,700 infected people were recovered, up from 4,948 reported a day ago.

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Europe

Boris’ spoof on ‘Love Actually’ scene sets Twitter abuzz

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Boris Johnson

London, Dec 10 : British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new pro-Brexit ad, a spoof on the 2003 hit movie ‘Love Actually’, set Twitter abuzz, with users posting memes and funny comments.

The 3-minute clip called ‘Brexit Actually’ got 9.7K retweets and 25K likes after it was posted on Johnson’s Twitter account on Tuesday. It had 1.7 million views.

The clipping shows Boris standing at a woman’s doorstep and using written signboards to seek her vote and warn that the elections are “closer than you think”.

Through several billboards, he mimicked a famous scene between Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightly. Thus, he tried to send the message across to fencesitting voter about Brexit.

One signboard read: “With any luck by next year we will have Brexit done (if Parliament doesn’t block it again) and we can move on.

“But for now let me say, your vote has never been more important. The other guy could win.

“So you have to make a choice – between a working majority or another gridlocked hung Parliament.”

It ends with the PM walking away and telling the camera “enough, enough – let’s get this done”.

Twitterati poked fun at the video and also tore into the Conservative Party leader. One said: “Hang on, isn’t the doorstep character trying to sleep with his best mate’s wife?”

In reply to @BorisJohnson, one user posted: “Oh, for God’s sake now you have really crossed a line.”

A Twitter user posted a meme of Johnson sporting blonde hair opening the door to US President Donald Trump with billboards in his hand that say ‘with some luck you will sell the NHS’ and ‘to me’.

One user said: “Desperate, yes. The sad thing is that this is still the only thing Boris can say to you in this election. Nothing of substance on anything that matters in your daily life. And even that’s an empty promise.”

Another post read: “Boris Johnson’s awkward ‘Love Actually’ spoof is an uncomfortable watch and not a patch on the original.”

One user posted Hugh Grant’s take on the issue: “Hugh Grant has said it was terrible and highlights how the message is meant to be about telling the truth, which Johnson doesn’t”.

One Brexit supporter wrote: “This is brilliant! Let’s get Brexit done.”

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Election

You’re a damn liar man: Biden tells voter

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Vice President Joe Biden

Washington, Dec 6 : Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden confronted a voter by calling him a liar who suggested that the former Vice President had sent his son to work in Ukraine, a media report said on Friday.

The incident took place on Thursday at a campaign event in Iowa on Thursday when the 83-year-old Merle Gorman, who previously served in the US Marine Corp, accused Biden of selling access to the Presidency by sending son Hunter to Ukraine to work for a gas company Burisma Holdings, the Daily Mail said in the report.

Footage of the confrontation has now gone viral, with Gorman seen stating: “Trump has been messing around in Ukraine, he’s (got) no backbone… But you, on the other hand, sent your son over there, gave him a job working with a gas company, he had no experience with gas or nothing, in order to get access for the President.”

Biden was clearly enraged by the accusation, seen pacing the floor furiously before walking up to Gorman as if to confront him physically.

“You’re a damn liar, man,” Biden told Gorman. “That’s not true.”

Biden denied that he or his son engaged in any corrupt activity in Ukraine and told the voter to “get your words straight”.

During the heated exchange, Gorman also told Biden (77) that he was too old to be running for office.

In response, Biden said that “you’re too old to vote for me”.

Meanwhile, Biden’s camp has aggressively denied the former Vice President fat shamed Gorman, after he challenging him to the push-up contest, the Daily Mail reported.

Video of the incident suggests Biden said to Gorman at one point: “Look, fat, here’s the deal.”

The confrontation came the same day when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed out at a reporter who asked if she “hated” President Donald Trump.

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COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.