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Satirical Weekly Charlie Hebdo Mocks Chancellor Angela Merkel in First German Edition, almost 2 Years after Islamist Militants attacked its top Editorial Staff in Paris

The magazine is known in France for ridiculing political and religious leaders

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The first issues of the German version of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo are for sale at a newsstand in Berlin, Dec. 1, 2016. VOA

The first German edition of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo hit the news stands on Thursday, with a front page lampooning Chancellor Angela Merkel, almost two years after Islamist militants attacked its top editorial staff in Paris.

The magazine also picked on another symbol of post-war German might — Europe’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen, still struggling to recover from its diesel emissions scandal.

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Launch posters showed Merkel sitting on the toilet reading the magazine. Click To Tweet

“VW backs Merkel,” reads the headline, with a picture showing a VW mechanic fixing 62-year-old Merkel on a hydraulic lift, saying: “A new exhaust pipe and you’ll run for another four years.”

Merkel announced last month she would stand for a fourth term in elections next year.

Launch posters showed Merkel sitting on the toilet reading the magazine, with the slogan: “Charlie Hebdo. It’s liberating.”

The magazine, known in France for ridiculing political and religious leaders, became a symbol for the freedom of expression after two militants broke into an editorial meeting at its Paris office in Jan. 2015 and killed 12 people.

The Islamists accused the magazine of blasphemy for printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

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Some German customers said they were buying the magazine as a gesture of solidarity.

“For me, this is more a feeling that I support this and I want it to continue now that it has just started,” said Tim Wuennemann.

An initial run of 200,000 will be printed in Germany — twice the circulation of the country’s current best-known satirical magazine, Titanic. Some of its contents will be original, some translated from the French.

The boundaries of satire were tested this year when Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan took legal action against German comedian Jan Boehmermann for broadcasting a satirical poem suggesting the president engaged in bestiality and watched child pornography. (VOA)

 

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Haryana Police conducts raids in Delhi for Honeypreet, Aditya Insan

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honeypreet & gurmeet singh ram rahim insaan
Image: ians

Chandigarh, Sep 26 (IANS) The Haryana Police on Tuesday conducted raids in the national capital in a bid to arrest fugitive Honeypreet and Aditya Insan, close aides of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Police sources said here that the raids were being conducted in Delhi and nearby areas of the National Capital Region (NCR).

One raid was being conducted in a house in Greater Kailash-II in south Delhi.

The move came a day after Honeypreet, whose real name is Priyanka Taneja, moved the Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory transit bail.

A court in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, on Monday issued arrest warrants against Honeypreet, Aditya Insan and Pawan Insan.

All three were booked by the Haryana Police on charges of sedition, inciting violence and being involved in the conspiracy to help the Dera chief escape after his conviction by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on August 25 on two counts of raping female disciples in 1999.

The Haryana Police had sounded an international alert against all three.

Honeypreet, in her mid-30s, is on the run since August 25, hours after Ram Rahim was convicted.

She has been the closest aide of Ram Rahim since 2009. The police is on her trail for nearly a month and raids have been conducted in Nepal, Rajasthan, Bihar and Haryana.

Honeypreet, who used to claim that she was Ram Rahim’s “adopted daughter”, starred as the main heroine in five films he directed, produced and acted in, in three years.

Last week, Honeypreet’s former husband, Vishwas Gupta accused her and Ram Rahim of having illicit relations and said their father-daughter relationship was a sham to fool followers.

Ram Rahim has been sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of over Rs 30 lakh.

His conviction led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 38 people dead and 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several other places in Punjab. (IANS)

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Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

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Social media platform Snapchat has blocked access to Al Jazeera content in Saudi Arabia
Image: IANS

Riyadh, Sep 18 (IANS) Social media platform Snapchat has blocked access to Al Jazeera content in Saudi Arabia, the media reported on Monday.

The popular photo-sharing app said it was asked by the Saudi authorities to remove the Qatari-backed broadcaster’s Discover Publisher Channel because it violated local laws, reports the BBC.

“We make an effort to comply with local laws in the countries where we operate,” a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement.

Qatar is in an ongoing dispute with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The four countries cut ties with Qatar earlier this year, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

After the start of the dispute, Saudi Arabia had also demanded the Qatari government to shut Al Jazeera altogether as one of 13 conditions to remove sanctions against the country.

However, those conditions were later withdrawn. (IANS)

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Modi’s birthday marked as ‘Sewa Divas’| Latest News

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narendra modi
Image: IANS

New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) Wishes poured in for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 67th birthday on Sunday, being observed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as “Sewa Divas” or day of service.

As the Prime Minister inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar project at Kevadia in Gujarat, BJP leaders and ministers took a lead in cleanliness and other campaigns.

“On his 67th birthday, wishing Prime Minister Narendra Modi a long life and many years of service to the nation,” President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.

Ministers picked up brooms and swept the streets in Delhi promoting Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman took part in a cleanliness drive at Gopinath Bazar in Cantonment area. Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan hosted an eye check-up camp and took part in cleanliness drive.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, BJP President Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh greeted the Prime Minister.

“Seva is the best way to celebrate the birthday of Pradhan Sewak Narendra Modi,” Shah tweeted.

Jaitley said: “May he be blessed with long and healthy life and he continues to lead us for years.”

“His leadership and tenacity has immensely benefitted the nation. I pray for his long and healthy life,” Rajnath Singh tweeted. (IANS)