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OUEST FRANCE, LE PARISIEN, EUROPE 1 (France)

TOULOUSE - This southwestern French city was the scene of a new standoff on Wednesday, with a man claiming to belong to Al Qaeda taking four hostages in a bank. Last March Mohammed Merah, killed three French soldiers and three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse and was killed after a long standoff with the French elite RAID police force.

According to Europe 1, the standoff came to an end late Wednesday afternoon after police forces raided the bank. The French radio station is reporting that the man, thought to be named Boumaza, is a schizophrenic who had gone off his medication. His sister was on site to help the police with their negotiations.

All four hostages were released unharmed, but Boumaza was shot in the stomach during the raid, reports Le Parisien. Two of the four hostages had been released by the suspect in the mid-afternoon. Sources are indicating that this was a hold-up gone wrong.

Earlier in the day, a police representative told Ouest France: "We don't know if the Al Qaeda claim is serious or unreliable."

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Geopolitics

How South American Oceans Can Sway The U.S.-China Showdown

As global rivalries and over-fishing impact the seas around South America, countries there must find a common strategy to protect their maritime backyards.

RIMPAC 2022

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — As the U.S.-China rivalry gathers pace, oceans matter more than ever. This is evident just looking at the declarations and initiatives enacted concerning the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Yet there is very little debate in South America on the Sino-American confrontation and its impact on seas around South America, specifically the South-Eastern Pacific (SEP) and South-Western Atlantic (SWA). These have long ceased to be empty spaces — and their importance to the world's superpowers can only grow.

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