Connect with us

News

President Macron Says France Will End Its Military Presence In Niger In 2024

Published

on

macron

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday that France will terminate its military presence in Niger and withdraw its ambassador from the country following the deposal of the democratically elected president.

After French troops withdrew from neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso in recent years in response to coups, the announcement is a significant, if expected, setback to France’s policy in Africa. France had stationed thousands of troops in the Sahel region at the request of African leaders to combat jihadist groups.

Since the coup in July, France has maintained approximately 1,500 troops in Niger and has repeatedly refused an order by the new junta for its ambassador to depart, stating that it does not recognize the legitimacy of the coup leaders.

In recent weeks, tensions have escalated between France and Niger, a former French colony. Macron recently stated that diplomats survived on military rations while cooping up in the embassy.

Macron stated in an interview with France-2 television that he spoke with deposed President Mohamed Bazoum on Sunday and informed him, “France has decided to bring back its ambassador, and in the coming hours, our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France.”

He added, “And we will terminate our military cooperation with the Niger government because they no longer wish to fight terrorism.”

He stated that the troops would be withdrawn progressively, most likely by the end of the year, in coordination with the coup leaders ”because we want it to occur peacefully.

macron

President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday that France will terminate its military presence in Niger and withdraw its ambassador from the country.

He stated that France’s military presence at the time was in response to a request from the government of Niger. Since the rebellion, military cooperation between France and Niger had been suspended. The junta leaders claimed that the government of Bazoum was not doing enough to safeguard the country from the insurgency.

The junta is subject to sanctions imposed by Western and regional African powers.

In August, the junta gave French Ambassador Sylvain Itte 48 hours to depart the country. The rebellion’s leaders revoked his diplomatic immunity after the deadline passed without France recalling him.

In New York on Friday, the military government that seized power in Niger accused U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of “obstructing” the West African nation’s complete participation at the U.N.’s annual meeting of world leaders to appease France and its allies.

According to experts, after repeated military interventions in its former colonies over the past few decades, France’s era as Africa’s “gendarme” may eventually end as the continent’s priorities shift.

Andrew Lebovich, a research fellow with the Clingendael Institute, a think tank, said the decision marks both an acceptance of a “harsh reality for France in the region and may possibly put some limits on the U.S. deployments in Niger, though as we have seen the U.S. and France have not followed exactly the same positionings in Niger.”

Rida Lyammouri, senior fellow at the Policy Centre for the New South, a think tank based in Morocco, stated that Niger would experience the loss of French support in its fight against violent extremist groups.

“France has been a dependable partner in providing support for Niger’s operations, and Niger has no alternative to fill this void, at least in the short and medium term,” Lyammouri stated.

Macron withdrew French forces from Mali last year due to tensions with the junta following a coup in 2020 and from Burkina Faso more recently for similar reasons. Both African nations had requested that French forces withdraw.

In addition, France suspended military operations with the Central African Republic, accusing its government of failing to halt a “massive” anti-French disinformation campaign.

SOURCE – (AP)

Continue Reading

World

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

Published

on

putin

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow has no plans to put nuclear weapons in space, asserting that the country has just acquired space capabilities equivalent to those of the United States.

Putin’s warning comes after the White House confirmed last week that Russia had received a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability, albeit such a weapon is not currently operational. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby stated that it would violate the international Outer Space Treaty but declined to comment on whether the weapon is nuclear-capable.

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

The deployment of “nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction” in orbit as well as the stationing of “weapons in outer space in any other manner” are both prohibited by the convention, which more than 130 nations have signed, including Russia. The White House stated that it would seek to engage the Russians directly on the issues.

“Our position is quite clear and transparent: we have always been and remain categorically opposed to the deployment of nuclear weapons in space,” Putin said in a statement. “Just the opposite, we are urging everyone to adhere to all the agreements that exist in this sphere.”

During a meeting with his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, Putin stated that Russia has only achieved space capabilities that “other nations, including the United States, have.”

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

“And they know it,” he added.

“We haven’t deployed any nuclear weapons in space or any elements of them to use against satellites or to create fields where satellites can’t work efficiently,” Shoigu said in an interview.

Shoigu claimed that the White House may have concocted assertions about a new Russian space capacity to pressure Congress to back Ukrainian aid and to convince Moscow to resume nuclear arms control talks, which Russia has postponed due to tensions with the U.S. over Ukraine.

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

Putin did not rule out future discussions with the United States, but he restated his belief that Washington’s determination to Russia’s defeat in Ukraine makes them impossible at the moment.

“The U.S. and the West, for one thing, are calling for Russia’s strategic defeat, while, on the other hand, they would like to have a dialogue on strategic stability, pretending that those things aren’t connected,” Mr Putin said. “It won’t work.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Published

on

franke

Ruby Franke, a mother and renowned web personality who pled guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse last year, was sentenced to four consecutive sentences of one to fifteen years in a Utah jail on Tuesday.

“My charges are just,” Franke stated during the sentencing. “They offer safety to my family, accountability to the public, and they did show mercy to me.”

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Franke, 42, had documented the mistreatment of her children on her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers.” She was arrested in August when her 12-year-old son fled and urged a neighbour to contact police.

Franke was initially charged with six counts but pled not guilty to two of them as part of a plea arrangement to testify against her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, who was also charged with aggravated child abuse but reached a plea agreement, according to prosecutors.

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

According to court filings, the abuse included:

  • Depriving Franke’s children of food and drink.
  • Kicking her son while wearing boots.
  • Denying him oxygen.

According to court documents, Franke informed her children that the penalties were necessary to teach them obedience and repentance. It was also alleged that she “intentionally or knowingly inflicted and allowed another adult to inflict serious physical injuries.”

“For the past four years, I’ve chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion,” Franke told CNN. “My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me.”

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Hildebrandt was sentenced on Tuesday and received the same terms. The judge stated they each have 30 days to submit an appeal.

“One of the reasons I didn’t go to trial…” “I didn’t want them to emotionally relive the experience, which would have been harmful to them,” Hildebrandt told the court. “My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

Continue Reading

News

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Published

on

eagles

NEW YORK — In the mid-1970s, the Eagles worked on a mysterious new song.

Don Henley, with the help of band co-founder Glenn Frey, wrote down ideas on a lined yellow pad about “a dark desert highway” and “a lovely place” with a luxury surface and frightening undertones. And something on ice, like caviar, Taittinger, or pink champagne?

The hit “Hotel California” became one of rock’s most memorable. Nearly a half-century later, those scribbled pages of lyrics-in-the-making have become the focus of an unusual criminal prosecution, which begins Wednesday.

Glenn Horowitz, a rare book dealer, Craig Inciardi, a former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator, and Edward Kosinski, a memorabilia seller, are accused of conspiring to own and sell manuscripts for “Hotel California” and other Eagles classics without permission.

The three have pled not guilty, and their lawyers have stated that the men did not commit any crimes with the materials they obtained from a writer who had worked with the Eagles. However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office claims the defendants conspired to conceal the documents’ disputed ownership, even knowing Henley claimed the pages were stolen.

Clashes over precious items are frequent, but criminal trials like these are uncommon. Many disagreements are addressed privately through lawsuits or agreements to return items.

“If you can avoid prosecution by handing over the thing, most people just hand it over,” said Travis McDade, a University of Illinois law professor who specialises in unusual document disputes.

Of course, the Eagle’s texts stand apart in other ways.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

The prosecutors’ primary witness is Henley, who is set to testify between Eagles tour stops. The non-jury trial could provide insight into the band’s creative process and life on the fast track to ’70s glory.

Over 80 pages of draft lyrics from the hit 1976 album “Hotel California” are at stake, including the words to the chart-topping, Grammy-winning title track. It boasts one of classic rock’s most recognisable riffs, best-known solos, and most oft-quoted — maybe overquoted — lines: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Henley said the song is about “the dark underbelly of the American dream.”

It was streamed over 220 million times and received 136,000 radio airplay in the United States alone last year, according to entertainment data company Luminate. Over the years, the “Hotel California” album has sold 26 million copies nationwide, trailing only the Eagles’ greatest hits album and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The pages also contain lyrics to songs like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town.” Eagles manager Irving Azoff has described the manuscripts as “irreplaceable pieces of musical history.”

Horowitz, Inciardi, and Kosinski are accused of conspiracy to possess stolen property, among other offences.

They are not charged with actually stealing documents. Nor is anyone else, but prosecutors must still prove that the documents were taken. The defence claims that is not true.

Much is dependent on the Eagles’ connections with Ed Sanders, a writer who also co-founded the 1960s counterculture rock band the Fugs. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he worked on an authorised Eagles biography, which was never published.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Sanders is not charged in this case. He received a phone message requesting a comment.

He sold the pages to Horowitz, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Horowitz has handled large rare book and archive deals and has previously been involved in ownership disputes. One featured papers related to Margaret Mitchell, the author of “Gone With the Wind.” It was settled.

Inciardi worked on several notable exhibitions for Cleveland’s Rock Hall of Fame. Kosinski is a principal of Gotta Have It! Collectables, infamous for auctioning celebrities’ personal belongings, including Madonna’s latex underpants, which she unsuccessfully tried to prevent from being sold.

According to court documents filed by Kosinski’s lawyers, Henley informed a grand jury that he never delivered the lyrics to the biographer. However, defence attorneys have indicated they want to investigate Henley’s memory of the events.

“We believe that Mr. Henley voluntarily provided the lyrics to Mr. Sanders,” attorney Scott Edelman stated in court last week.

Sanders told Horowitz in 2005 that while working on the Eagles book, he was sent whatever papers he wanted from Henley’s residence in Malibu, California, according to the indictment.

Then, in 2012, Kosinski’s business auctioned off several pages. Henley’s lawyers came knocking. According to the indictment, Horowitz, Inciardi, and Sanders began bouncing around various accounts of the manuscripts’ provenance.

Sanders discovered the pages dumped in a backstage dressing area in one story. In others, he obtained them from a stage assistant or while collecting “a lot of material related to the Eagles from different people.” In another, he got them from Frey — an account that “would make this go away once and for all,” Horowitz said in 2017. Frey had died a year ago.

“He merely needs gentle handling and reassurance that he’s not going to the can,” Horowitz emailed Inciardi during a 2012 interaction about getting Sanders’ “‘explanation’ shaped into a communication” to auctioneers, the indictment states.

According to the indictment, Sanders offered or signed off on some of the various justifications, but what he said verbally is unclear. However, he appears to have disputed at least the dressing-room tale.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Kosinski sent one explanation, approved by Sanders, to Henley’s counsel. According to the prosecution, Kosinski also told Sotheby’s auction company that the musician had “no claim” to the records and requested that possible bidders remain unaware of Henley’s objections.

Sotheby’s listed the song “Hotel California” lyrics in a 2016 auction but deleted them after learning of the ownership dispute. Sotheby’s is not charged in the case and has declined to comment.

According to court documents, Henley paid $8,500 for some draft lyrics from Gotta Have It! in 2012, when he began submitting police reports.

Henley’s defence counsel argues he hired starstruck prosecutors to take up his cause rather than pursuing a civil suit himself.

The DA’s office collaborated extensively with Henley’s legal team, and an investigator even wished for backstage passes to an Eagles concert — until a prosecutor declared it was “completely inappropriate,” according to Kosinki’s lawyers in court papers.

Prosecutors dismissed inquiries about their motivations as “a conspiracy theory rather than a legal defence.”

Last year, they stated in court documents, “It is the defendants, not the prosecutors, who are on trial.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Continue Reading

Trending