Tuesday March 19, 2019
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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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Chefs Gear Up For Pairing With Scientists To Promote Sustainable Eating

In Europe, research fellow Laura Wellesley of British think-tank Chatham House says governments must aid in a shift to so-called plant-based meat and, more controversially, meat grown in laboratories.

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Diners sample vegan dishes at a "Future 50 Foods" tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. VOA

Spelt risotto was on the menu at a recent lunch in Paris. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat with a nutty flavor. It is rich in fiber and minerals, and counts among dozens of sometimes ancient and obscure foods scientists say benefit people and the planet.

A green cuisine effort is growing in France as scientists warn that meat consumption must be drastically cut to fight climate change and sustainably feed a global human population set to reach 10 billion by 2050.

Algae, which are nutrient-rich and can have a meat-like flavor, is seen at a "Future 50 Foods" tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Algae, which are nutrient-rich and can have a meat-like flavor, is seen at a “Future 50 Foods” tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. VOA

“Seventy-five percent of our food comes from 12 crops and five animals. Sixty percent of all our calories come through three vegetables,” said David Edwards, director of food strategy at environmental group WWF, which jointly produced a report, “Future 50 Foods,” with the German food giant Knorr.

The message: Our current eating habits, which rely heavily on large-scale farming and livestock production, have got to change.

“We’ve had a 60 percent decline in the wildlife population since the 1970s — the last 50 years, within a lifetime,” Edwards added. “And … a precipitous decline in insect populations also … food has pushed wildlife into the extreme margins.”

A menu explains what is being served at a "Future 50 Foods" lunch at the Pompidou Center in Paris.
A menu explains what is being served at a “Future 50 Foods” lunch at the Pompidou Center in Paris. VOA

The Paris lunch featured many of the report’s so-called “future” foods. Vegetables are in. Meat is out. On the menu: walnuts, root vegetables, lentil flour, yams and soy milk.

Also, fonio — a drought-resistant grain that Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam now markets in the United States and serves at his New York City restaurant. He sources it from smallholder farmers in Africa.

“We’re still importing food like rice in Senegal. Yet we could have our own fonio, our own millet. We should be consuming it. But we still have this mentality that what comes from the West is best,” Thiam said.

Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam attends a "Future 50 Foods" tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Thiam cooks and markets fonio in the U.S., sourcing the grain from African farmers.
Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam attends a “Future 50 Foods” tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Thiam cooks and markets fonio in the U.S., sourcing the grain from African farmers. VOA

Former White House chef Sam Kass, who led Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity, is now fighting for the environment.

“When we talk about these dramatic changes to overhaul everything, people are like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t know what to do.’ And here, it’s like, just pick 2 to 3 foods and eat them once a week. That would be a big start,” Kass said.

Drought-resistant okra is displayed at a "Future 50 Foods" tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Drought-resistant okra is displayed at a “Future 50 Foods” tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. VOA

In Europe, research fellow Laura Wellesley of British think-tank Chatham House says governments must aid in a shift to so-called plant-based meat and, more controversially, meat grown in laboratories.

“The EU has really invested quite heavily in this area … but it could do more,” Wellesley said. “It could invest more public finance in the research and development of culture and plant-based meat that are truly sustainable and are healthy options. And it could also support the commercialization of innovations.”

At the Paris lunch, diner Thomas Blomme gave his first course a thumbs-up.

Also Read: India Should Crack Down Upon The Terror Sympathizers Within The Country

“Some sort of soup, with a lot of spices and some new ingredients. Tasted really well with some lentils,” he said.

And for diners heading back to work but feeling a bit sleepy after the seven-course tasting menu: A green moringa after-party booster juice was offered. (VOA)