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Geopolitics

Outrage Spreads After French TV Broadcasts Tape Of Toulouse Killer

AFP, RTL, LE FIGARO (France)

Worldcrunch

PARIS – Outrage spread Monday after French TV station TF1 aired for the first time extracts of audio tapes between Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah and the police during the 32-hour siege on his apartment.

In the recordings, Mohamed Merah can be heard saying to the police negotiators: "Know that you are up against a man who is not afraid to die," adding that he was determined to continue his killing spree and claiming he had links to al-Qaeda and organized crime groups.

Merah, a French citizen of Algerian descent, shot dead three soldiers, and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school, in a wave of killings that shocked the country. The 32-hour standoff on his Toulouse apartment ended with Merah shot in the head by the French police.

The broadcast of the recordings on Sunday has sparked outrage in France, starting with Interior Minister Manuel Valls who condemned the decision to run the conversation while court proceedings were still ongoing. Valls told AFP that internal affairs would be launching an investigation into the leak of the tapes.

The families of Merah's victims also blamed TF1 for its lack of respect for them and their grief.

Fabrice Lorvo, a lawyer specialized in media and communication issues, was quoted Monday by French daily newspaper Le Figaro: "We've entered an accelerating spiral. The case of Canadian killer Luka Rocco Magnotta was symbolic of the excesses the media should try to avoid, given it no longer has anything to do with the right to information."

Emmanuel Chain, the producer of TF1's "Sept a Huit", the program that broadcast the extracts of the tapes, justified his decision on French radio station RTL: "We acted responsibly," he said. "We weighed the matter very carefully before deciding to run the document because of its high news value."

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Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

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Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

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