TIME Bizarre

Parents Can’t Name Their Child ‘Nutella,’ French Court Says

A judge noted that Nutella "is the trade name of a spread"

A recently-born baby named Nutella was renamed by a court in the French city of Valenciennes after a judge ruled that the parents’ decision to the name the child after a food was against the child’s interest, according to a new report in the newspaper La Voix Du Nord.

“The name ‘Nutella’ given to the child is the trade name of a spread,” the court’s decision read, according to a translation. “And it is contrary to the child’s interest to be wearing a name like that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts.”

The judge renamed the child Ella after the parents failed to show up at a court appointed day in November. The baby was born in September.

[La Voix Du Nord]

TIME France

France to Hire 2,600 Officers to Monitor 3,000 Terror Suspects

French troops patrol around the Eiffel Tower on Jan. 12, 2015 in Paris,
French troops patrol around the Eiffel Tower on Jan. 12, 2015 in Paris, Jeff J Mitchell—Getty Images

Government will spend $490 million in response to Paris attacks

PARIS — French security forces will get better weapons and protection to fight terror and the country will hire 2,600 new counter-terrorism officers, the prime minister announced Wednesday.

The news came as the Paris prosecutor said four men suspected of providing logistical support to one of the Paris terror attackers have been charged with associating with terrorism — the first charges handed out for the mayhem that left 20 people dead, including three gunmen.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the government will spend 425 million euros ($490 million) on counter-terrorism over three years in response to the Paris attacks. Three police were among those killed by the gunmen.

France will also bolster its intelligence apparatus, introducing a measure to make it easier to tap phones, he said. In addition, 3,000 people with ties to France — some at home, others abroad, will be monitored by anti-terror surveillance agents.

Outlining a web of phone calls, shared keys and prison friendships, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said the four suspects — all in their 20s, all arrested in the Paris region — were handed preliminary charges overnight and will be jailed until a further investigation.

The prosecutor identified the suspects only as Willy P., Christophe R., Tonino G. and Mickael A.

Three of the men are suspected of buying weapons — and one kept them at his house — for Amedy Coulibaly, who shot a policewoman to death Jan. 8 on the outskirts of Paris and then a day later killed four hostages at a kosher supermarket before being killed in a police raid.

Three of the four men charged had criminal records; at least one met Coulibaly in prison, Molins said. Coulibaly himself had met Cherif Kouachi, one of the two brothers who killed 12 people at the Paris newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in prison.

The DNA of Mickael A. was found on a revolver in Coulibaly’s apartment and on a glove the gunman wore in the supermarket. Molins also said Mickael A. had 18 phone contacts with Coulibaly on Jan. 6.

Molins said three of the men are believed to have procured weapons and tactical material for Coulibaly, but are not charged with complicity in the attacks.

The lawyer for one of those charged said his client was unaware of any terrorist plot and was afraid of Coulibaly. Lawyer Fabrice Delinde told BFM television said the gunman “terrorized my client” and intimidated him into helping. He would not identify his client, for his own security.

Molins said authorities in France are working with other countries to search for other possible accomplices. They are especially trying to uncover who was responsible for the posthumous video of Coulibaly, which was edited and released days after he and brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi died in standoffs with police.

In the video, Coulibaly pledges allegiance to the Islamic State group and details how the attacks were coordinated by the three men.

France has repeatedly strengthened its counterterrorism laws over the years, most recently with a new measure passed in November centering on preventing French extremists from joining fighters abroad. One measure — which is expected to be activated in the coming weeks — would allow administrative authorities to ask Internet service providers to block sites that glorify terrorism.

Meanwhile, France’s cyber-vulnerabilities have come into view. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Tuesday that Islamic extremist-hackers have claimed responsibility for more than 1,300 attacks on French civilian and military Web sites since the Paris terror attacks. The low-grade vandalism, like altering Web sites or home pages, was aimed to show sympathy with the terrorists.

Overnight Wednesday, the Twitter feed of Le Monde newspaper was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, a group that aligns itself with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Read next: Japanese War Reporter Was Abducted by ISIS After Trying to Save His Friend

TIME France

France Issues First Charges Against 4 in Terrorist Attacks

France Europe Terror
Prosecutor Yvon Calvet, right, and a top police official in Montpellier, Gilles Souliers, address the media during a press conference held at the court house in Beziers, southern France, on Jan. 20, 2015 Jean-Paul Bonincontro—AP

Four men charged for providing logistical support to Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who held a kosher supermarket hostage and shot a policewoman

(PARIS, France) — Four men with ties to one of the gunmen responsible for three days of terror in the Paris region are the first to be charged in connection with the attacks that left 20 people dead, including three attackers, the Paris prosecutor said Wednesday.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said that four men were handed preliminary charges overnight of association with terrorism. They are suspected of providing logistical support to Amedy Coulibaly, who shot a policewoman to death on the outskirts of Paris and then killed four hostages at a kosher supermarket. The four were jailed until a further investigation.

The attacks started with the Jan. 7 massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Three of the four had criminal records; at least one met Coulibaly in prison, Molins said.

He said that authorities in France are working with other countries to search for other possible accomplices. Molins said investigators are trying to uncover who was responsible for the posthumous video of Coulibaly, which was edited and released days after he and the Charlie Hebdo gunmen Said and Cherif Kouachi were killed by police.

In the video, Coulibaly pledges allegiance to the Islamic State group and details how the attacks were coordinated by the three men.

TIME France

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Makes Solidarity Visit to Paris

"Both are cities that understand what it is to fight back"

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio toured Paris on Tuesday in a show of solidarity as the French capital reels from a recent series of terrorist attacks.

De Blasio arrived Tuesday morning and made at least eight stops on his trip, including meetings with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Jewish leaders the Wall Street Journal reports. “We’re here in solidarity because both of our cities have experienced terror, both are cities that understand what it is to fight back,” he said.

His first stop was the kosher supermarket where a gunman took hostages and later killed four of them. De Blasio then traveled with Hidalgo to the Charlie Hebdo office where, two days before the supermarket attack, two gunmen killed 12 people in retaliation for the satirical newspaper’s depictions of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

“Mr. de Blasio was the first person to call me just after he heard the news. This was very moving for me,” Hidalgo said at a news conference. She added that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack “has made the people in New York stronger, and that is what he’s come to say to us today.”

[WSJ]

TIME state of the union

Lawmakers Will Hold Up Pencils at SOTU to Honor Charlie Hebdo

BRITAIN-FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-HEBDO
A giant pencil is held up at a vigil outside The French Institute in London on Jan. 9, 2015 for the 12 victims of the attack on the Paris offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Justin Tallis—AFP/Getty Images

Members of Congress will honor the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack during the State of the Union by holding up yellow pencils.

A spokeswoman for Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin said that she will hold up a pencil and that they have confirmed that other lawmakers will do so as well.

“Rather than divide and intimidate us, these brazen and barbaric attacks have united the international community and prompted a global response in defense of the freedom of expression,” said Eric Harris, press secretary for Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI). Moore will participate in the tribute.

The pencil has become a symbol of remembrance and solidarity after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, which many saw as an attack on free speech.

The advance text of Obama’s speech is not yet available, but it is widely expected that he will reference the attack.

TIME France

Paris Attack Hero Lassana Bathily Receives French Citizenship

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (L) and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (C) award citizenship to Lassana Bathily in Paris, France, on Jan. 20, 2015.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (L) and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (C) award citizenship to Lassana Bathily in Paris, France, on Jan. 20, 2015. Christophe Ena—AP

The Muslim shop employee saved seven Jews from the Paris supermarket attack on Jan. 9

A 24-year-old Malian immigrant who hid a group of hostages during a terror attack at a kosher supermarket was awarded French citizenship Tuesday in a ceremony that showcased his courage and selflessness.

Lassana Bathily, who has lived in France for about nine years and filed his citizenship papers last summer, was fast-tracked for citizenship, sparing him from the notoriously arduous process of becoming a naturalized Frenchman.

Bathily, dressed in a black suit and white shirt, walked into Tuesday’s ceremony flanked by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. He stood with his head bowed and his hands…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME France

Paris Mayor Plans to Sue Fox News

The network retracted and apologized for inaccurate reports on "no-go zones" for non-Muslims

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in an interview Tuesday that she plans to sue the American network Fox News after it broadcast inaccurate reports on Muslim “no-go zones” in the French capital, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks.

Her comments, which aired on CNN, come in the wake of multiple Fox News reports that describe areas of Paris as off-limits to non-Muslims and governed by Shari’a law, reports that were untrue and for which the network later apologized.

“When we’re insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Hidalgo told Amanpour in an interview. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced.”

Fox’s coverage of no-go zones was widely mocked by Parisian comedy programs. The network has since retracted its reports.

Michael Clemente, executive vice president at Fox News, responded Tuesday to Hidalgo’s remarks. “We empathize with the citizens of France as they go through a healing process and return to everyday life,” he said. “However, we find the Mayor’s comments regarding a lawsuit misplaced.”

Read next: Paris Attack Hero Lassana Bathily Receives French Citizenship

TIME France

Charlie Hebdo Attacker Chérif Kouachi Buried in Unmarked Grave

Suspect's  Wanted In Connection With Attack At The Satirical Weekly Charlie Hebdo
Chérif Kouachi. Getty Images

The grave's location will remain undisclosed to avoid it becoming a site of pilgrimage for extremists

Chérif Kouachi, the 32-year-old gunman who took part in the Jan. 7 attack on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead, was buried in an unmarked grave on Saturday in the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers. Relatives did not attend his funeral.

“His wife did not wish to take part in the funeral. He did not have anyone,” said a French official, according to Agence France-Presse.

His brother, Saïd Kouachi, was buried in the French town of Remis, his home of two years, since he was not a resident of Gennevilliers. French law requires relatives to obtain permission for a burial site through evidence of prior residence.

The location of the graves will remain secret to prevent them potentially becoming sites of jihadist pilgrimage.

[AFP]

TIME France

42% of French Opposed to Charlie Hebdo’s Cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, Poll Finds

57% believed that similar cartoons should continue to be printed

More than 4 in 10 French people believe Charlie Hebdo shouldn’t publish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, given that many Muslims find the images offensive, according to a recent poll by a French publication, published Sunday.

A survey conducted by Le Journal du Dimanche, a French weekly newspaper, presented participants with this information: “Some Muslims feel attacked or injured by the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.”

In the final tally of responses, 42% checked a box to indicate that the country should “consider these reactions and avoid publishing these cartoons,” while 57% of respondents checked “we should ignore these reactions and continue to publish such cartoons.” The remaining 1% checked “no opinion.”

The survey, which used a sample of over 1,000 French adults, also found that women and people under 35 were most sensitive to Muslim concerns.

Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover image controversially depicted the Prophet Muhammad in tears, holding a sign that reads “Je Suis Charlie,” in defiance of the attacks on the magazine’s office that left 12 dead. Despite the anti-Charlie rallies that the cover sparked from Muslim groups across the world, the issue sold out its five million copies.

[JDD]

TIME France

Fire in the Channel Tunnel Shuts Down France-England Transport

The entrance to the Channel Tunnel near Calais. in Coquelles on Jan.17, 2015.
The entrance to the Channel Tunnel near Calais. in Coquelles on Jan.17, 2015. Michel Spingler—AP

The Chunnel is closed after a truck fire

The tunnel underneath the English Channel has been closed “until further notice,” after a truck fire Saturday.

The 31.4-mile-long train and automobile conveyance that runs between England and France, also known as the “Chunnel,” was closed due to a fire at the French end of the tunnel, the BBC reports.

Eurostar, the train service that operates in the tunnel, announced in a statement, “We are sorry but we are unable to run any further trains today because Eurotunnel has been closed due to smoke detected in the north tunnel.” Passengers planning Saturday travel were advised not to come to the station.

A spokesman for the police said there were no injuries. “Rail passengers are advised to expect significant delays whilst the vehicle is being recovered and fumes are cleared from the tunnels,” he added.

Eurotunnel, which manages the Chunnel, said in 2012 that nearly 50,000 people use the tunnel each day.

The Chunnel spans the stretch of the English Channel from the area near Folkstone, near Dover in the United Kingdom, to Coquelles near Calais in France. It is used by passenger and freight trains, and has a special shuttle for automobiles and trucks.

[BBC]

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