When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

French Anti-Gay Marriage Activist Commits Suicide In Notre Dame



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.

[rebelmouse-image 27086834 alt="""" original_size="171x170" expand=1]

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 A despicable law, once it has been voted, can always be repealed.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 @jssinfo twitter.com/Europe1/status…

— Europe 1(@Europe1) May 21, 2013

Suicide in Notre-Dame, police evacuated the cathedral

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Putinism Without Putin? USSR 2.0? Clean Slate? How Kremlin Succession Will Play Out

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, political commentators have consistently returned to the question of Putin's successor. Russia expert Andreas Umland foreshadows a potentially tumultuous transition, resulting in a new power regime. Whether this is more or less democratic than the current Putinist system, is difficult to predict.

A kid holds up a sign with Putin's photograph over the Russian flag

Gathering in Moscow to congratulate Russia's President Vladimir Putin on his birthday.

Andreas Umland


STOCKHOLM — The Kremlin recently hinted that Vladimir Putin may remain as Russia's president until 2030. After the Constitution of the Russian Federation was amended in 2020, he may even extend his rule until 2036.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

However, it seems unlikely that Putin will remain in power for another decade. Too many risks have accumulated recently to count on a long gerontocratic rule for him and his entourage.

The most obvious and immediate risk factor for Putin's rule is the Russian-Ukrainian war. If Russia loses, the legitimacy of Putin and his regime will be threatened and they will likely collapse.

The rapid annexation of Crimea without hostilities in 2014 will ultimately be seen as the apex of his rule. Conversely, a protracted and bloody loss of the peninsula would be its nadir and probable demise.

Additional risk factors for the current Russian regime are related to further external challenges, for example, in the Caucasus. Other potentially dangerous factors for Putin are economic problems and their social consequences, environmental and industrial disasters, and domestic political instability.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest