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French Antique Tale: A Father’s Christmas Gift From 1946 Cycles Back To Owner

Not your average case of lost and found.

French Antique Tale: A Father’s Christmas Gift From 1946 Cycles Back To Owner

Bicycle standing near house

Rozena Crossman

Joseph Carayon was ten years old in 1946, living in the small southern French town of Abeilhan, when his father gave him a bicycle for Christmas. As a newly freed prisoner of war, the father had cobbled the bike together from spare parts, making for a particularly special Christmas gift.

But when he came of age, Joseph began riding a moped and lent the bike to a friend, and never saw it again. Until a brocanteur — a French antiques dealer — regifted the long-lost vehicle to Joseph a month ago.

Another dealer had found the bike in a flea market 30 kilometers away, and noticed a plaque that read: “Joseph Carayon Abeilhan HLT.” He contacted the colleague from Abeilhan, a 35-year-old named Thomas.

Joseph Carayon, his Christmas bicycle and the kindly "brocanteur" who reunited them.France Bleu Hérault

“I could have kept it for scrap,” said the brocanteur. “The bike was all rusty. Bikes like that are a dime a dozen. But my sharp eye was drawn to this plate under the handlebars.”

Thomas saw the name and knew exactly who had once owned the bike — and decided to make it his professional holiday mission to deliver it to him.

Now 85 years old, Joseph Carayon was already a local cycling icon in and around Abeilhan, as one of the oldest paperboys for the regional newspaper Midi Libre, which first reported the story.

Known as “Jojo,” he covers up to 13 kilometers per day delivering the news, half of which he does on a much newer bike.

Although his gift from all those years ago is still in working condition, he said he will reserve it for special occasions. “I had tears in my eyes,” said Carayon when reading about the return of his bicycle in the very paper he distributes. Seventy-five years ago, it was a special delivery from his dad; now from a young stranger … it’s the Christmas gift that keeps giving.

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Big Brother For The People: India's CCTV Strategy For Cracking Down On Police Abuse

"There is nothing fashionable about installing so many cameras in and outside one’s house," says a lawyer from a Muslim community. And yet, doing this has helped members of the community prove unfair police action against them.

A woman is walking in the distance while a person holds a military-style gun close up

Survellance and tight security at the Lal Chowk area in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India on October 4, 2022

Sukanya Shantha

MUMBAI — When sleuths of the National Investigating Agency suddenly descended on human rights defender and school teacher Abdul Wahid Shaikh’s house on October 11, he knew exactly what he needed to do next.

He had been monitoring the three CCTVs that are installed on the front and the rear of his house — a chawl in Vikhroli, a densely populated area in suburban Mumbai. The cameras told him that a group of men and women — some dressed in Mumbai police’s uniform and a few in civil clothes — had converged outside his house. Some of them were armed and few others with batons were aggressively banging at the door asking him to immediately let them in.

This was not the first time that the police had landed at his place at 5 am.

When the policemen discovered the CCTV cameras outside his house, they began hitting it with their batons, destroying one of them mounted right over the door. This action was captured by the adjacent CCTV camera. Shaikh, holed up in his house with his wife and two children, kept pleading with the police to stop destroying his property and simply show them an official notice.

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