Category Archives: News

The News

Donald Trump Jr. and Vanessa Trump are separating

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa Trump are separating, they announced in a joint statement Thursday.

“After 12 years of marriage, we have decided to go our separate ways,” the statement said. “We will always have tremendous respect for each other and our families. We have five beautiful children together and they remain our top priority. We ask for your privacy during this time.”…

…Though she primarily remains out of the public eye, Vanessa Trump was recently in the news when she opened a letter containing a suspicious substance last month, which the New York Police Department ultimately deemed harmless.

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Whistling at women & asking for phone number could cost men €350 in France

Men in France could be fined €350 (US$435) if they follow women in the street, whistle at them, make loud comments about their appearance or ask for their phone numbers, according to a draft proposal to combat “sexual contempt.”
The new report will be presented to the French government in the coming days, local media report. The plans come from a parliamentary working group set up by France’s secretary of state for equality, Marlene Schiappa. The politicians behind the proposal suggest that men who “violate women’s freedom of movement in public space” should face a minimum fine of €90 for those who can pay on the spot. If the fine is delayed, it could reach €350, the report says. The document will be presented to Schiappa, Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet, and Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb.


Attorney Lisa Bloom, Gloria Allred’s Daughter, Offered to Pay Woman $750K to Accuse Trump

Lisa Bloom, a California lawyer and daughter of Gloria Allred, who also represents Trump accusers, arranged payments for women to publicly accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct before the election. Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell the story to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off the accuser’s mortgage, and attempting to secure as much as $750,000 to another woman who ultimately declined. The unidentified woman had an email from Bloom indicating that a Clinton Super PAC would help finance her legal costs if she agreed to do it. Earlier this year, Bloom was shamed into dropping Harvey Weinstein, asexual predator and alleged rapist, as a client. -GEG


Will The Trump Administration Impact The Legal Marijuana Movement

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…California began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana on Monday, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Nevada. Massachusetts and possibly Maine are expected to begin sales this year.

…“It puts the industry on notice in these states who thought they had cover from the states and the feds,” he said. “All these people are going to wake up today with a bit of a heartache because they thought were scot-free, when in reality, they’re not.”

Why are French police committing suicide in record numbers?

SUICIDE rates among police officers in France have hit record levels leading to serious concerns about the mental and emotional health of people whose duty is to serve and protect the population.

39 police officers have committed suicide since January this year and a further two deaths are suspected suicides.

The majority of those who committed suicide over the course of the past 11 months lived in the Paris region, where some 36,000 police officers are based. Out of the 10 police officers who committed suicide in the last two months, seven were based in Paris.

Radio station France Bleu, which reported on the figures, added that male police officers are more likely to take their own lives than their female counterparts: out of the 39 law enforcement officers who died this year, only three were women.

The suicide risk among police officers in France is “at least three times higher” than the national average, France Bleu said, adding that while most people committed suicide for “personal reasons,” an increasing number of deaths were being linked to work-related stress, especially among France’s police force.

Police trade unions believe that the anti-social nature of the job as well as the increased workloads and stress levels in part triggered by the wave of extremist violence in France have gnawed away at police officers’ mental wellbeing.

“Most police officers work five weekends out of six, when in fact they should be getting a weekend off every other week,” Louis-Guy Dubois, a member of Police Force Ouvrière trade union, told France Bleu.

According to Mr Dubois, the growing threat from Islamist terrorism has put French police under severe strain: “Giving officers more time off is an administrative headache, especially now that they are needed to help patrol the streets and prevent attacks. The number of officers working overtime (since the wave of attacks) has exploded. Police are under unprecedented pressure.”

Some 1,133 police officers have committed suicide in France in the last 25 years. Around 50 per cent killed themselves using their service weapon, according to France Bleu.


French government forced to act after new wave of police suicides

Eight French officers including a high-profile former police chief have committed suicide in just a week sparking renewed concern among the forces of law and order and the government.
The worrying issue of the high number of suicides among French police officers is once again back on the agenda.

These latest suicides brought the number of French police officers to have taken their lives this year to 45. There have also been 16 suicides by members of France’s military police the gendarmerie nationale.

The most high profile death came on Sunday when it was revealed that France’s former police chief in charge of fighting hooliganism had been found dead in his office.

Antoine Boutonnet, whom The Local interviewed in June 2016 on the eve of Euro 2016 is believed to have used his service weapon to commit suicide.

Boutonnet’s death shocked those who knew him including the president of the French Football League Frédéric Thiriez.

“He wasn’t just a great professional but also a humanist. He became a friend,” said Thiriez.

France’s Interior Minister Gérard Collomb will meet with police unions after eight officers took their lives in a week.

He has also asked police chiefs to put together a list of recommendations aimed at cutting the number of suicides.

But French authorities seem powerless to prevent the loss of life given that in January 2015 the government had already unveiled its new plan aimed at cutting suicide numbers in the police forces.

That plan came after a black year for the forces of law and order when 55 police and 30 gendarmes took their own lives.

As part of the government’s measures seven extra psychologists were to be recruited for the police forces most in need. More psychologists were also to be recruited in police training schools.

Police officers were to get individual lockers where they can leave their weapon after work. This measure was aimed at stopping officers committing suicide using their service firearms in their own homes.

The then Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he also intended to “improve the quality of life at work” by promoting a healthier work-life balance.

He also said he would also consider changing working hours to allow more time for a private life.

Speaking to The Local at the time David-Olivier Reverdy from the police union Alliance said that there was a real crisis in the police force.

While he accepted there are always “multiple factors” behind suicides, he says the fact remains that there are fundamental problems within the French police force that is pushing many over the edge.

“Some of these suicides are clearly down to problems in their personal lives, but there is clearly a malaise among police officers,” he said.

Reverdy pointed to “archaic” management systems, working conditions, pressure from bosses, and a lack of protection from the government given the fact that “no one these days seems to be too scared to physically attack police officers”.

In recent years police officers in France have been under extra strain as they have become the targets of choice for jihadist violence.

In April last year and officer was gunned down on the Champs-Elysées and in June 2016 a police officer and his wife were stabbed to death at their home in front of their young son.

They have also been targeted by violent protesters and in May 2016 took to the streets to protest against a rise in anti-cop hatred.

“Confronted on a daily basis by human misery, violence and the worst that you can find in humans, police can no longer put up with a lack of consideration towards them, which is a factor in these tragic acts,” said the Unité-SGP-Police union.


French cop who attempted suicide twice tells why more colleagues take their own life

Police in France choose to take their own lives more easily than other sections of society, an officer who attempted suicide twice has told RT. She believes her colleagues suffer trauma from their work and from public anger directed at them.
Aurelie hides her face from the camera and will not disclose her real name. She has served in law enforcement for more than two decades, after joining at the age of 19. There was a time when she was very excited about her job. But then the pressure of it became harder and harder to bear.

“They always say that these are personal issues. We must stop saying that,” Aurelie tells RT’s Charlotte Dubenskij. “Police officers are traumatized by their work. They decide to commit suicide more easily than the others. Why? Not because they have weapons on them. How many of them hang themselves, throw themselves under trains, take pills? My female colleague, 49 years old, killed herself last week with a hunting rifle.”

Aurelie attempted to kill herself twice, with the latest incident coming just seven months ago. She does not deny there was a personal aspect to it: “I was considered a trouble-maker. I also had problems in my private life and with my children. I felt abandoned. You spend your entire life to build your personal and professional life – and one day you say to yourself: everything would be better without me.”

But the personal troubles were worsened by professional burnout. Although a nearly two-year state of emergency in France ended recently with President Emmanuel Macron’s tough counterterrorism law, the impact it had on the police was vast.

“We suffered enormously physically and psychologically from the terrorist attacks. We worked extremely hard – but that was our duty. What was really bad was that we were not given the tools to fight terrorism. Some police officers received new weapons, some received training – but not all of us. The measures that they introduced were miniscule.”

Aurelie also blames the government for the French police force’s tarnished image.
“Our administration is taking decisions and the people’s anger is turning against us. We are suffering from the image our government created for us. Today many people are calling for policemen to be killed.”

It was Aurelie’s children who helped her to pull through eventually. “I realized that my child will come home that day – and it saved my life. But the lack of humanity in police nowadays leads to the situation when many of my colleagues prefer to die instead of fighting.”

But dozens of other police officers have succumbed to the extreme pressures they face. This month, the French Interior Ministry revealed figures on police suicides, saying 2017 alone has seen 46 officers and 16 members of the gendarmerie take their lives. Last weekend, another officer committed suicide after going on a killing rampage.

“Faced with daily human misery, violence and with the worst that can be found in humans, police can no longer stand this lack of respect, a factor in coming closer to the dramatic act [of suicide],”said the SGP police union.

General secretary of the National Police Commissioners’ Union (NPCS), Céline Berthon, added her thoughts. “Police and gendarmes have been very busy defending others for two years, maybe that has led them to taking less care about themselves and maybe it has also led to exhaustion,” she said.

In the past, the grim statistics of some 85 suicides in 2014 triggered the then interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, to unveil a set of measures aimed at cutting the numbers. These included recruitment of additional psychologists, lockers for storing service firearms after work, as well as a change to working hours. The number of suicides went down after that, but apparently not for long, as the 2017 statistics show. For officers such as Aurelie and many like her, the struggle will continue until their voices are heard and the strain they are under is properly addressed.


French police in crisis as suicide rate spirals

With the number of suicides in the French police in 2014 passing 50 on Friday the government is under pressure to deal with a growing crisis. The Local asks a police union chief what is pushing so many officers to end their lives.
On November 24th a young policewoman based near Paris was sitting in a friend’s garden when she took out her service weapon and turned it on herself.

Just days earlier in Bastia, on the island of Corsica, a young police captain took her own life when she grabbed a colleagues gun and shot herself.

These incidents were not isolated.

On Friday a tweet from a police union announced that a policeman in the north of France had shot himself at home to become the 50th officer to take his own life since the start of the year. That compares to 40 last year and 43 in 2011 and 2012, with another month still to come.

France’s police union leaders say officers are suffering from what the French call a “ras-le-bol”, a fatigue or malaise, that basically means they’ve had enough.

The country’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is under pressure to act and he has called for measures to be introduced in early 2015 to prevent police suicides.

David-Olivier Reverdy from the police union Alliance told The Local on Thursday that there was now real crisis in the police force.

While he accepts there are always “multiple factors” behind suicides, he says the fact remains that there are fundamental problems with the French police force that is pushing many over the edge.

“Some of these suicides are clearly down to problems in their personal lives, but there is clearly a malaise among police officers,” he said.

Reverdy points to “archaic” management systems, working conditions, pressure from bosses, and a lack of protection from the government given the fact that “no one these days seems to be too scared to physically attack police officers”.

Reverdy blasts reforms by the Ministry of Justice Christiane Taubira that has seen community service punishments handed out for certain offences rather than prison offences – a reform aimed at easing the pressure on France’s creaking prisons which are home to a record number of inmates.

“The French people understand our problems, they support the police but at the same time, in places like Marseille, they are shooting at us, with the blessing of the Ministry of Justice,” Reverdy says.

“The government has sent out the wrong message,” he said. “They are not listening to us. We have lost trust in the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior.”

France as a country suffers from one of the highest suicide rates in Europe but a recent study concluded that police officers in the country had a 36 percent higher chance of taking of their own life than the ordinary population.

The root of the problem according to Reverdy is that police chiefs are asking already overworked officers “to do more for less”.

One officer named Paula who called a French radio station after she herself had attempted to commit suicide simply blamed: “harassment from management” for the crisis.

“We are there to help people, but no one is there to help us. We see children killed, fatal road accidents, suicides, but we can’t go home and talk to our families about our day at work,” she said.

Police also complain of being stigmatized by elements of the general public. A problem not helped by high profile incidents such as the death of Remi Fraisse, who was killed by a police stun grenade during clashes at an anti-dam protest, or a shocking incident of a Canadian tourist raped at a Paris police HQ.

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Madrid dances to WorldPride rhythm

Hundreds of thousands attended the WorldPride 2017 parade in Madrid, a city which has become a global reference in LGBT openness

Madrid (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of revellers young and old danced, cheered and partied on the rainbow streets of Madrid Saturday in the world’s biggest march for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.

Carried along by the slogan “Viva la vida!” (Live life!), drag queens, policemen, activists and politicians made their way through the centre in celebration of sexual diversity and in defence of LGBT people the world over, under the watchful eye of security forces.

Young people mixed with parents and their kids to cheer on as the noise of hovering helicopters blended in with the drums of the march, with onlookers wearing outfits as varied as regular shorts and t-shirts, tight swimwear and sailor uniforms.

Diana Vanegas, a 30-year-old Colombian who lives in California, was on holiday in Spain with her husband and her toddler daughter, who sat in a push chair waving a mini rainbow-coloured flag.

“She doesn’t know what the flag represents… but she has to respect people for what they are and not judge them because of their sexuality,” Vanegas said.

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Sarah Palin Suing New York Times For Defamation

Sarah Palin is suing The New York Times for defamation, according to documents filed in federal court Tuesday that were obtained by The Daily Caller.

The lawsuit has to do with an editorial the NYT ran on June 14 that falsely smeared Palin as inciting the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords by a mentally ill man. There is no evidence to support the NYT’s implication that Palin played a role in inciting the Giffords shooting. (RELATED: NYT Uses GOP Shooting To Falsely Attack Sarah Palin With Debunked Conspiracy Theory)

“Mrs. Palin brings this action to hold The Times accountable for defaming her by publishing a statement about her that it knew to be false: that Mrs. Palin was responsible for inciting a mass shooting at a political event in January 2011,” Palin’s suit states.

“Specifically, on June 14, 2017, The Times Editorial Board, which represents the ‘voice’ of The Times, falsely stated as a matter of fact to millions of people that Mrs. Palin incited Jared Loughner’s January 8, 2011, shooting rampage at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, during which he shot nineteen people, severely wounding United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and killing six, including Chief U.S. District Court Judge John Roll and a nine-year-old girl.”