Brussels Police Conduct Raids, French PM Warns Of Chemical Attack

BELGIAN POLICE RAIDS IN BRUSSELS

Belgian police conducted a series of raids in Brussels today to find information related to one of the Paris suicide bombers and also arrested someone during a separate house search, Reuters reports.

  • Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Salah Abdeslam, two of the suspected terrorists involved in Friday's attacks that killed at least 129 in Paris, were not among the seven people arrested during a raid by French police in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis early Wednesday, Le Parisien reports. But forensic teams are trying to determine whether one of the two people killed during the raid was Abdelhamid Abaaoud. The Washington Post quotes unnamed European officials as saying that he was.

    Photo: Thierry Mahe/Xinhua via ZUMA

  • The other person killed was a woman believed to have detonated a suicide belt. According to the Belgian website La Dernière Heure, the woman was Hasna Aitboulahcen, Abaaoud's cousin.

FRENCH PM WARNS OF POSSIBLE CHEMICAL ATTACK

ISIS could attempt chemical attacks in France and other European countries, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned parliament Wednesday, according to Le Figaro. "We must not rule anything out," he said. "I say it with all the precautions needed. But we know and bear in mind that there is also a risk of chemical or bacteriological weapons." Earlier this week, the French government authorized the country's hospitals to be equipped with atropine sulfate, the only antidote available to certain toxic gas attacks.

  • The Assemblée Nationale, the lower house of French parliament, will vote today on a three-month extension to the state of emergency President François Hollande declared Friday. The upper house of the parliament will then vote on it tomorrow, Le Point reports.
  • Lyon's annual Fete des Lumieres (Festival of Lights), which normally takes place in early December and attracts millions of visitors, has been cancelled and replaced with a tribute to victims of the Paris attacks, Le Monde reports.

VERBATIM

"Roosevelt didn't like Stalin, but he had to get a deal with him in order to defeat the Nazis, who were the greater evil," The Washington Post quoted Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo as saying yesterday. He was suggesting that the West would have to work alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the "lesser evil," to defeat ISIS. Friday's attacks in Paris could prompt Western countries to reevaluate their positions on the Syrian president, who, for countries like France, is now relegated to a position of secondary importance, behind the Islamist terror group.


NEW NIGERIA BOMBINGS KILL 15

At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when two young female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a market in the northern Nigerian city of Kano yesterday afternoon, Jeune Afrique reports. This comes just a day after a blast killed at least 32 people and wounded 80 in the northern city of Yola. While it has not yet claimed the attacks, the Islamist group Boko Haram is believed responsible.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Dismissed and wooed as so-called millennials, a young French generation represented both the victims and perpetrators of the Paris attack, Worldcrunch's Bertrand Hauger writes. "It was already hard enough to think that drawing could get you killed, but it was the liberté d'expression that was in the crosshairs then, not the liberté d'existence," Hauger writes. "As it turns out, no one I knew directly was harmed Friday. My little universe was left completely untouched, which is something of a miracle, considering the music I listen to, the streets I roam, or the mere fact that I'm 28. That is the same age as some of the victims, capable of the best; the same age as one of the perpetrators, guilty of the worst. The future of France."

Read the full article, They Call Us "Generation Bataclan" — A Young French Reflection.


DESPITE ISIS WARNING, NO ‘CREDIBLE THREAT' TO NY

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said today there was "no credible and specific threat" against America's most populous city, despite an ISIS video last night threatening similar attacks there to those in Paris. "We understand it is the goal of terrorists to intimidate and disrupt our democratic society," Voice of America quoted de Blasio as saying. "We will not submit to their wishes." The video, which Police Commissioner William Bratton described during a press conference as "hastily produced," shows what appears to be a suicide jacket in preparation.


TRACKING DOWN KALASHNIKOVS

The firepower displayed in Friday's Paris attacks, including multiple explosive devices and at least five Kalashnikovs, naturally raises the question of where the terrorists are getting the weapons. "Balkan basements," according to Croatian news website Net.Hr.

Read more about it on Le Blog.


TURKEY DETAINS 8 ‘TERROR SUSPECTS'

Turkish border police arrested eight Moroccan men suspected of links with ISIS at Istanbul's Atatürk airport today, the daily Hürriyet reports. Described as "terror suspects," the men were on their way to Germany through Greece, according to documents found on them. Authorities say they were detained after being interviewed by criminal profilers. "Today's successful identification of Moroccan terror suspects attests to the fact that the most effective means to fight terrorism is for source countries to share intelligence with Syria's neighbors," a senior Turkish official told Al Jazeera.


ON THIS DAY


Believe it or not, the Gettysburg Address and Milli Vanilli do have something in common. Check out today's shot of history.


CHINESE FORCES KILL 17 IN XINJIANG

Chinese forces have killed 17 people suspected of carrying out an attack on a coal mine that reportedly killed 50 people in the troubled Xinjiang region. According to Radio Free Asia, the dead include women and children.


MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD



JUST 118 MORE YEARS

According to the World Economic Forum, it will take 118 more years, or until 2133, for the global pay gap between men and women to be closed.

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Society

Germany's Legendary Clubbing Culture Crashes Museum Space

The exhibition “Electro” in Düsseldorf is an unlikely tribute to a joyful and uninhibited club culture, with curators forced to contend with limits of a museum setting ... and another COVID lockdown.

A woman with a "Techno" tattoo in front of the famous Berghain

Boris Pofalla

DÜSSELDORF — The last party at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin lasted from Saturday evening until Monday morning. On the first weekend of December, some clubbers lined up for nine hours outside the former power plant – and still didn’t make it past the doormen. A friend said that dancing in the most famous techno club in the world on its last evening was like landing a spot in the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic on 14 April 1912.

It is surely a coincidence that the first comprehensive exhibition charting the 100-year history of electronic music in Germany opened in the same week that nightclubs across the country were forced to close. It wasn’t planned that way, but it’s like opening an exhibition about the cultural history of alcohol the day after the introduction of prohibition.

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