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Deadly French Jewish School Shooting Has 'Striking Similarities' To Recent Killings

Southwest France has seen its third deadly shooting in the past week, as a killer rides up on a scooter at a Jewish school in Toulouse. Police are investigating possible links with recent killings of French soldiers in the region.

Police cordon off the area surrounding the Ozar Hatorah school (6MON2PANAME)
Police cordon off the area surrounding the Ozar Hatorah school (6MON2PANAME)


TOULOUSE - A gunman opened fire in front of a Jewish school in the southwest French city of Toulouse, killing four people, including three children.

Witnesses saw the shooter opening fire from his scooter on a group of adults and children outside the Ozar Hatorah school at around 8.15am. The killer then left his black scooter to follow children into the school, before riding away.

The victims are a 30-year-old teacher and his sons, three and six years old, and the school headmaster's daughter, aged 10.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the shootings an "abominable drama" and a "frightening tragedy," while his main opponent for the 2012 presidential election François Hollande said he was going to go to Toulouse "immediately" out of "solidarity" for the Jewish community.

It's the third shooting in the region in the past week carried out from a motorbike.

On Thursday, a driveby gunman opened fire on three uniformed paratroopers at an ATM in Montauban around 50 kilometers from Toulouse, killing two and critically wounding the other, before speeding away. Four days earlier, a gunman on a motorbike shot and killed another paratrooper in Toulouse.

Sarkozy said there were "striking similarities' between Monday's shooting and last week's attacks.

According to police officials, the Ozar Hatorah school killer was armed with two guns, one of them matching the caliber of the shootings in Toulouse and Montauban last week.

Read more from Le Monde in French


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food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

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