EURONEWS, AFP, LE MONDE (France)

Worldcrunch

MOGADISHU - Somali Islamist militants announced on Wednesday that they had decided to execute a French hostage they have been holding since 2009, reports the AFP.

French DGSE secret-service commandos launched a raid last Saturday in an bid to rescue French intelligence agent Denis Allex, but the attempt failed, resulting in the death of two French soldiers. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that 17 militants were killed in the raid.

The Islamist militant group Al-Shabab has ties to Al-Qaeda.

“With the rescue attempt, France has voluntarily signed Denis Allex’s death warrant,” the Islamist militants announced on Twitter, according to Euronews.

PRESS RELEASE:Dennis Allex: an Agent Betrayed.Bulo-Marer (16/01/2013).In the Name of Allah, the Most (cont) tl.gd/knkqp9

— HSM Press Office (@HSMPress) January 16, 2013

A senior Al-Shabab official told the AFP on Wednesday that Allex "has been sentenced and this judgment will not be changed. As far as we are concerned this man should die."

French authorities believe their agent was most likely killed during the raid. The Al-Shabab did not release any proof that Allex was still alive after the raid.

France’s military chief of staff, Admiral Edouard Guillaud, qualified the Shebab's statement on Twitter as a “a manipulation of the media,” reports Le Monde.

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China

Peng Shuai, A Reckoning China's Communist Party Can't Afford To Face

The mysterious disappearance – and brief reappearance – of the Chinese tennis star after her #metoo accusation against a party leader shows Beijing is prepared to do whatever is necessary to quash any challenge from its absolute rule.

Fears are growing about the safety and whereabouts of Peng Shuai

Yan Bennett and John Garrick

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai's apparent disappearance may have ended with a smattering of public events, which were carefully curated by state-run media and circulated in online clips. But many questions remain about the three weeks in which she was missing, and concerns linger over her well-being.

Peng, a former Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion, had been out of the public eye since Nov. 2. 2021 when she penned a since-deleted social media post accusing former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual misconduct.

In the U.S. and Europe, such moments of courage from high-profile women have built momentum to out perpetrators of sexual harassment and assault and give a voice to those wronged. But in the political context of today's People's Republic of China (PRC) – a country that tightly controls political narratives within and outside its borders – something else happened. Peng was seemingly silenced; her #MeToo allegation was censored almost as soon as it was made.

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