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Bad Taste Gaming, Bataclan Becomes Pokemon Go Battle Arena

In front of the Bataclan concert hall
In front of the Bataclan concert hall

PARIS — Ten months after the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan concert hall, it is now possible to virtually "conquer" the tragic music landmark thanks to the latest distasteful twist to the augmented-reality mobile game Pokémon Go, which sends players to find and catch more than 100 species of little monsters in the real world.

It may be a machine-driven coincidence, but one that does not rest well in France, victim of three major terrorist attacks in the past 20 months, reports Le Figaro.

Niantic, developer of the gaming sensation co-owned by Nintendo, bases its locations on geo satellite data. Still, it can know in advance which "arenas" have been selected, and developers could have excluded Bataclan out of respect to the victims, Le Figaro reports.

It is not the first time that Pokémon Go has sparked controversy. In July, officials at the Auschwitz memorial denounced Nintendo for allowing its game to turn the former Nazi death camp in Poland into a "Pokéstop." One Pokémon Go player also found a Koffing (a poison gas type Pokémon) in the Holocaust Museum in Washington.

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At the Holocaust Museum in Washington — Photo: Alliance

Renovation has begun at the Bataclan, which has become a place of pilgrimage for those looking to pay their respects to the victims of the ISIS attacks in November. The concert hall is set to reopen with a performance by British singer Pete Doherty later this year.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

This is a tale of a Ukrainian special forces operator who wound up surviving 14 hours at sea, staying afloat and dodging Russian air and sea patrols.

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

Looking at the Black Sea in Odessa, Ukraine.

Rustem Khalilov and Roksana Kasumova

KYIV — During a covert operation in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian special agent was thrown overboard and spent the next 14 hours alone at sea, surrounded by enemy forces.

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The agent, who uses the call-sign "Conan," agreed to speak to Ukrainska Pravda, to share the details of nearly being lost forever at sea. He also shared some background on how he arrived in the Ukrainian special forces. Having grown up in a village in a rural territory of Ukraine, Conan describes himself as "a simple guy."

He'd worked in law enforcement, personal security and had a job as a fitness trainer when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. That's when he signed up with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Main Directorate of Intelligence "Artan" battalion. It was nearly 18 months into his service, when Conan faced the most harrowing experience of the war. Here's his first-hand account:

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