TIME France

Al-Jazeera Journalists Arrested for Flying Drone in Paris

A view shows the illuminated Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district in Paris, Feb. 24, 2015.
Gonzalo Fuentes—Reuters A view shows the illuminated Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district in Paris, Feb. 24, 2015.

The arrests have not been linked to the drone sightings throughout the city this week

Three Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested in Paris on Wednesday, allegedly for flying a drone.

The television reporters flew a drone from a park to the edge of the city, according to media reports. Flying drones without permission is illegal in the French capital, but the three are also suspected of having stolen the remote-controlled vehicle.

“One of the journalists was flying the drone, and the other was filming,” a source told Reuters.

The arrest comes during a week where there have been many night-time drone sightings over the city, though the journalists have not been linked to those incidents.

[Reuters]

TIME Iran

Iran Blows Up Replica U.S. Warship During Defense Drill

A replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier is exploded by the Revolutionary Guard during naval drills near the entrance of the Persian Gulf, Iran on Feb. 25, 2015.
Iranian Tasnim News Agency/AP A replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier is exploded by the Revolutionary Guard during naval drills near the entrance of the Persian Gulf, Iran on Feb. 25, 2015.

"It seems they've attempted to destroy the equivalent of a Hollywood movie set," says U.S. Navy spokesperson

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard blew up a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier Wednesday during defense drills conducted near the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, a major passage for world oil shipments.

The attack, which was broadcast on state television, marks the first time Iran has used such a replica in a drill, USA Today reports. It took place nearly a year after it was revealed that Iran was constructing a U.S. ship mock-up.

The head of the Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, warned on TV that the “message of these wargames is that others should pay good heed to the point that they should not take any action near the Islamic Republic’s security circle.”

The U.S. military, however, says it is “not concerned about this exercise” that saw rockets and missiles used during the attack.

“We’re quite confident of our naval forces’ ability to defend themselves,” said Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, the spokesperson for the U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet based in Bahrain. “It seems they’ve attempted to destroy the equivalent of a Hollywood movie set.”

[USA Today]

 

TIME Israel

Netanyahu Says World Powers ‘Have Given Up’ on Preventing Iran Nukes

Israeli PM Netanyahu weekly cabinet meeting
Abir Sultan—Reuters Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on Feb. 15, 2015.

Israeli Prime Minister says he's not willing to give up on preventing Iran's progress toward developing nuclear weapons

In his sharpest criticism yet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says world powers “have given up” on stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons in ongoing negotiations.

Netanyahu made the comments Wednesday night at a meeting of his Likud Party outside of Jerusalem. They come as Netanyahu plans to address the U.S. Congress on the nuclear negotiations.

The West fears Iran could build an atomic bomb with its nuclear program. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes.

Netanyahu said: “From the agreement that is forming it appears that they (world powers) have given up on that commitment and are accepting that Iran will gradually, within a few years, develop capabilities to produce material for many nuclear weapons. They might accept this but I am not willing to accept this.”

TIME brazil

These Photos Show Just How Bad Brazil’s Drought Really Is

These photographs show the Cantareira reservoir in Sao Paulo, Brazil as the country experiences its worst drought in 80 years. The water levels in the reservoir, which is the region's main source of water, are currently at 6% of total capacity.

TIME Vatican

Pope Francis Knocked for ‘Mexicanization’ Remark

Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking Saint Peter's square during his Angelus prayer on Feb. 22, 2015 at the Vatican.
Tiziana Fabi—AFP/Getty Images Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking Saint Peter's square during his Angelus prayer on Feb. 22, 2015 at the Vatican.

The Vatican said he meant no offense

The Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Francis “absolutely did not intend to offend the Mexican people” when he appeared to express concern that drug trafficking was making his native Argentina resemble Mexico.

Over the weekend, the Pope wrote in an email to Argentine lawmaker and friend Gustavo Vera, “Hopefully we are in time to avoid Mexicanization,” referring to the country’s drug trade, the Associated Press reports. After Vera published the email on the website for his organization, the Alameda Foundation, Mexico formally complained that the Pope was unnecessarily “stigmatizing Mexico” despite the country’s efforts to battle drug cartels there.

In response, the Vatican sent Mexico’s ambassador an official note and said the Pope’s choice of words were taken from a informal, private email that merely borrowed language Vera himself had used as lawmaker battling Argentina’s own drug trade.

“The Pope intended only to emphasize the seriousness of the phenomenon of the drug trafficking that afflicts Mexico and other countries in Latin America,” Vatican spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi said. “It is precisely this importance that has made the fight against drug trafficking a priority for the government.”

[AP]

TIME France

Drones Spotted Over Paris Again

A view shows the illuminated Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district in Paris, Feb. 24, 2015.
Gonzalo Fuentes—Reuters A view shows the illuminated Eiffel Tower and La Defense business district in Paris, Feb. 24, 2015.

For the second time in two days

Drones were again spotted overnight hovering above Paris on Wednesday, prompting an investigation in the city just a day after they were first spotted.

Between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 2 a.m. Wednesday, the unmanned aerial vehicles were spotted above Rue de Vaugirard, the Assembly, the city’s east train station, Porte de Saint-Ouen and Porte de la Chapelle, CNN reports.

Its unclear whether the drones are recreational and to whom they belong, but they’ve put authorities on edge following the terrorist attacks in the city last month.

Just a day earlier, five drones were seen over the Eiffel Tower, the Bastille, Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides and the U.S. Embassy, said Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office.

[CNN]

TIME Foreign Policy

Obama Aide Calls Israeli Leader’s U.S. Visit ‘Destructive’

Says planned address to Congress has "injected a degree of partisanship"

President Barack Obama’s top national security aide on Tuesday lambasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to address Congress as “destructive [to] the fabric of the relationship” between the two countries, as political fallout continued to mount ahead of Netanyahu’s controversial visit.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, delivering the Obama Administration’s strongest critique of the visit to date while speaking Tuesday night on PBS, said Netanyahu’s address next week has “injected a degree of partisanship, which is not only unfortunate, I think it’s destructive [to] the fabric of the relationship.”

Netanyahu’s visit has been sharply criticized in both Israel and the U.S. as overly political, coming just weeks before Israeli elections and after House Speaker John Boehner invited him without informing Obama or congressional Democrats. Obama will not meet with Netanyahu while he’s in town, and many Democrats, including Vice President Joe Biden, have signaled that they won’t attend his address to a joint session of Congress.

“The relationship between Israel as a country and the United States as a country has always been bipartisan and we’ve been fortunate the politics have not been injected into that relationship,” Rice said. “It’s always been bipartisan. We need to keep it that way. We want it that way. I think Israel wants it that way, the American people want it that way, and when it becomes infused with politics, that’s a problem.”

The Israeli leader has steadfastly defended the speech as an opportunity to voice his concerns over a potential nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran, and did so again Tuesday, saying he was coming to the U.S. to “do everything I can” to stop a deal with Iran, the New York Times reports.

“Therefore, I will go to Washington to address the American Congress, because the American Congress is likely to be the final brake before the agreement between the major powers and Iran,” Netanyahu said.

Still, the trip risked coming off as more partisan when Netanyahu turned down an invitation to address Senate Democrats.

“Thought I greatly appreciate your kind invitation to meet with Democratic Senators, I believe that doing so at this time would compound the misperception of partisanship regarding my upcoming visit,” Netanyahu said in a letter released by the office of Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin.

Dubin wasn’t pleased with Netanyahu’s response.

“We offered the prime minister an opportunity to balance the politically divisive invitation from Speaker Boehner with a private meeting with Democrats who are committed to keeping the bipartisan support of Israel strong,” he said in a statement. “His refusal to meet is disappointing to those of us who have stood by Israel for decades.”

TIME Germany

Hitler’s Mein Kampf Will Be Reprinted in Germany for the First Time Since World War II

The new edition will be presented as a historical document and heavily annotated with analysis and criticism

Reprints of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf will be hitting bookstores across Germany once more — the first time since the Nazi leader’s death.

A ban on reprinting the Nazi manifesto in the country has been in place since the end of World War II. The state of Bavaria has held the German copyright ever since but it expires in December, reports the Washington Post.

The new edition, which is being produced and published by the taxpayer-funded Institute of Contemporary History, will be a heavily annotated 2,000-page volume that features mostly criticism and analysis.

The institute says Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is an important historical and educational tool.

But opponents, including many Holocaust survivors, are outraged with the reissue, with many seeing it as giving a fresh voice to a ruthless and deranged dictator who was responsible for the deaths of more than 11 million people.

“This book is most evil; it is the worst anti-Semitic pamphlet and a guidebook for the Holocaust,” said Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich.

Though republication of Mein Kampf has been banned in Germany, the book is widely available online and in many other countries including the U.S. and Canada.

The first print run is due out early next year.

Read next: The ‘Death Penalty’ and How the College Sports Conversation Has Changed

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Cricket

Australia Cricketers to Test New Helmet Design Following Phillip Hughes’ Death

Cricket bats line the funeral procession route for Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes outside a primary school in his home town of Macksville
Jason Reed—Reuters Cricket bats line the funeral procession route for Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes outside a primary school in his home town of Macksville, Dec. 3, 2014

Innovative design intended to better protect batsmen

Australian cricket batsmen will over coming weeks test a new helmet design that features a protective attachment to guard the backs of players’ necks, announced Cricket Australia representative Pat Howard on Wednesday.

Upgrading existing helmet designs had become a priority following the tragic death of Australian professional cricketer Phillip Hughes during a match in November. The 25-year-old collapsed on the field after getting struck on the side of the neck by a bouncing ball, and died two days later in a Sydney hospital. His death was attributed to a brain hemorrhage, AFP reports.

British company Masuri is producing the new clip-on helmet attachments, which are constructed from hard plastic and foam. Howard called the new design “quite innovative” and said players “are very receptive to trying it” following Hughes’ passing.

“It’s got impact protection and comes down the side of the head,” said Howard. “Players will be given an opportunity to try it out in a game outside an international, but work our way up.”

Cricket Australia says it will work with the International Cricket Council to push the new helmet design into worldwide use should trials prove successful.

TIME Cuba

Cuban President Raúl Castro Honors Spies Jailed in U.S. as National Heroes

Raul Castro, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino,  Antonio Guerrero
Ramon Espinosa—AP Cuba's President Raul Castro and Gerardo Hernandez salute, as fellow agents Ramon Labanino, background, second from right, and Antonio Guerrero applaud during a medal ceremony, in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015

The awards come despite thawing relations between Washington and Havana

Cuban President Raúl Castro awarded medals to five men on Tuesday, calling them national heroes for their espionage work in the U.S.

“The Cuban Five,” as they were nicknamed, had attempted to infiltrate Cuban exile groups within the U.S. but were arrested and imprisoned in 1998, Reuters reports.

All were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, but three were released from U.S. custody on Dec. 17 when President Barack Obama announced a shift in Washington’s relationship with Havana. (The remaining pair had already returned to their homeland.)

In exchange for the final three spies, the Cuban government released a Cuban prisoner convicted 20 years ago of spying on his home country for the U.S.

The prisoner exchange was one element of a dramatic recent shift in U.S.-Cuba relations. Both countries have announced that they will restore diplomatic relations after decades of hostility and sanctions.

The Cuban Five were presented to a group of Cuban government officials, military officers and dignitaries at the Cuban parliament. Castro led the ceremony, but his brother, former President Fidel Castro, was not seen. Fidel, 88, has not appeared publicly in over a year.

Gerardo Hernandez, 49, was the leader of the arrested spies. “The honor that we receive today also demands that we rise to the challenges facing the revolution,” he said.

[Reuters]

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