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LE MONDE, LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR, EUROPE 1(France)

Worldcrunch

PARIS – The Notre Dame Cathedral was evacuated on Tuesday after a man committed suicide in front of the altar. The man was soon afterward identified as Dominique Venner, essayist, historian and far-right militant with close ties to the anti-gay marriage movement, reports Le Nouvel Observateur.

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Photo: Dominique Venner's blog

Venner, 78, went to the altar, and without a word, shot himself in the mouth, reports Le Monde. The building was evacuated.

Venner spent 18 months in prison in 1961 for being a former member of the OAS Organization of the Secret Army, a paramilitary organization during the Algerian War that was opposed to the Algerian independence.

Most recently, he voiced his opposition to the gay-marriage bill that was enacted last week in France. In his last blog post, he wrote about the anti-gay marriage protest that will be held on May 26:

“The May 26 protesters are right to scream their impatience and their anger. A despicable law, once it has been voted, can always be repealed.

Organizing nice little street protests isn’t enough.

There needs to be new – spectacular and symbolical – actions to shake people out of their torpor, wake up these anesthetized consciences and wake up the memory of our origin. We are entering an era where words must be authenticated by actions.”

According to the Europe 1 radio station, a letter was found near Venner’s body.

PHOTO Suicide à Notre-Dame, la police a fait évacuer la cathédrale par @jssinfotwitter.com/Europe1/status…

— Europe 1(@Europe1) May 21, 2013

Suicide in Notre-Dame, police evacuated the cathedral

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Geopolitics

Patronage Or Politics? What's Driving Qatar And Egypt Grand Rapprochement

For Cairo, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil,” with anger directed at Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, and others critical of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood ouster. But the vitriol is now gone, with the first ever visit by Egyptian President al-Sisi to Doha.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the Emir of Qatar in June 2022 in Cairo

Beesan Kassab, Daniel O'Connell, Ehsan Salah, Hazem Tharwat and Najih Dawoud

For the first time since coming to power in 2014, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Doha last month on an official visit, a capstone in a steadily building rapprochement between the two countries in the last year.

Not long ago, however, the photo-op capturing the two heads of state smiling at one another in Doha would have seemed impossible. In the wake of the Armed Forces’ ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013, Qatar and Egypt traded barbs.

In the lexicon of the intelligence-controlled Egyptian press landscape, Qatar had been part of an “axis of evil” working to undermine Egypt’s stability. Al Jazeera, the main Qatari outlet, was banned from Egypt, but, from its social media accounts and television broadcast, it regularly published salacious and insulting details about the Egyptian administration.

But all of that vitriol is now gone.

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