Thursday November 15, 2018
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Watch: Firefight between French police, ISIS terrorists caught on camera

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Paris: A troubling video showing a firefight between the French police and the terrorists who attacked Bataclan concert hall in Paris has surfaced.

Award-winning photographer Patrick Zachmann of Magnum Photos captured the firefight with his iPhone. The video has now gone viral.

Watch it here:

Meanwhile, another video footage emerged on Sunday which appears to show the moment gunfire halted a concert by Eagles of Death Metal at the Bataclan hall in Paris.

Watch it here:

France was in mourning on Sunday as investigators identified one of the seven terrorists who massacred 129 people in Mumbai-type attacks here as a Parisian with a criminal record.

A severed finger of the terrorist was found in the blood-stained Bataclan concert hall where one group of killers went on a shooting spree when an American band was playing, killing 80 to 100 music lovers.

Prosecutors identified the terrorist as Omar Ismail Mostefai, a 29-year-old French citizen of Algerian origin with a criminal record. He was known to have been radicalized, media reports said.

A car was also found in a Paris suburb with many automatic rifles hidden in its back seat.

French prosecutors said the bloody Friday night attacks on six spots packed with tourists in Paris were carried out by three coordinated teams of gunmen and suicide bombers.

The deadly attack — akin to the way terrorists from Pakistan ravaged Mumbai in November 2008 killing 166 Indians and foreigners — also left an estimated 350 people wounded. Many were in critical condition.

The Friday targets also included a major stadium, restaurants and bars in Paris.

It was the worst act of violence in Paris since World War II. President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and ordered a curfew in the French capital — for the first time in 70 years.

Security forces have said all the terrorists involved in the well-coordinated attacks were killed. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bloodbath and threatened more bloodshed because of France’s participation in the US-led attacks on the terrorist group.

Six suspects were detained in Paris, among them Mostefai’s brother, father and sister-in-law. They were being interrogated.

BBC said investigators were working on the theory that there may have been another team of attackers who managed to flee the scene.

The discovery of a Syrian passport near the body of one of the attackers has raised suspicion that some of the killers may have entered Europe as a part of an influx of people feeling Syria’s civil war.

Amid national mourning and a sense of disbelief, France continued the grim task of identifying the dead and tending to the wounded.

According to Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, “several dozen” bodies had been identified.

The victims, besides the French, include those from Britain, Sweden, Italy, the US and Spain.

Three crisis centres were set up to counsel victims and their families. Many others resorted to social media to try to find out the fates of their missing loved ones, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Alexis Debreil, 38, was recovering at a hospital after being shot in the knee at Le Petit Cambodge restaurant where he was dining with two friends.

He said people were lying on top of one another on the floor of the restaurant as the bullets whizzed above.

“I know a lady died next to me. At one point I tried to wake her up. I stroked her hair and said, ‘Stay with us, hang in there.’ I know she was alive at that point because I saw her torso move. Then she went completely white and I knew she’d died,” he recounted.

In response to appeal for blood donations, Parisians responded en masse, lining up at hospitals and other centres.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls has said France would continue with air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria. President Hollande cancelled his plans to attend the G20 in Turkey.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Facebook Allows French Regulars To Oversee Hate Speech Control

France's use of embedded regulators is modeled on what happens in its banking and nuclear industries.

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A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

Facebook will allow French regulators to “embed” inside the company to examine how it combats online hate speech, the first time the wary tech giant has opened its doors in such a way, President Emmanuel Macron said Monday.

From January, Macron’s administration will send a small team of senior civil servants to the company for six months to verify Facebook’s goodwill and determine whether its checks on racist, sexist or hate-fueled speech could be improved.

“It’s a first,” Macron told the annual Internet Governance Forum in Paris. “I’m delighted by this very innovative experimental approach,” he said. “It’s an experiment, but a very important first step in my view.”

The trial project is an example of what Macron has called “smart regulation,” something he wants to extend to other tech leaders such as Google, Apple and Amazon.

Facebook
Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg meets with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace after the “Tech for Good” summit, in Paris, France. VOA

The move follows a meeting with Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg in May, when Macron invited the CEOs of some of the biggest tech firms to Paris, telling them they should work for the common good.

The officials may be seconded from the telecoms regulator and the interior and justice ministries, a government source said. Facebook said the selection was up to the French presidency.

It is unclear whether the group will have access to highly-sensitive material such as Facebook’s algorithms or codes to remove hate speech. It could travel to Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin and global base in Menlo Park, California, if necessary, the company said.

facebook, U.S. Politicals ads, dating
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“The best way to ensure that any regulation is smart and works for people is by governments, regulators and businesses working together to learn from each other and explore ideas,” Nick Clegg, the former British deputy prime minister who is now head of Facebook’s global affairs, said in a statement.

France’s approach to hate speech has contrasted sharply with Germany, Europe’s leading advocate of privacy.

Also Read: Online Hate Thriving Even After The Recent Hate Crime in The U.S.

Since January, Berlin has required sites to remove banned content within 24 hours or face fines of up to 50 million euros ($56 million). That has led to accusations of censorship.

France’s use of embedded regulators is modeled on what happens in its banking and nuclear industries.

“[Tech companies] now have the choice between something that is smart but intrusive and regulation that is wicked and plain stupid,” a French official said. (VOA)