Le Pen on Globalization
On April 23, France will have its next presidential election. The National Front Party, led by presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, has been making waves recently. In a speech delivered in Lyon this past weekend, Le Pen shared her views on globalization and her plans for the potential presidency, namely that globalization is doing more harm than good to the people of France. She has said that globalization is “manufacturing by slaves for selling to the unemployed” and that a “local revolution” is a necessary solution. She further stated her thoughts on the EU, saying that it is a “failure” and vowing to, if elected, compose a referendum for France similar to that of last summer’s Brexit. Le Pen’s opponents have noted the similarities between populist attitudes and President Trump’s beliefs; they have seen the U.K.’s attempts to negotiate the terms of their referendum and the triggering of Article 50. The deputy leader of the National Front party has said that the people of France “see Brexit, they see Trump, and they’re saying to themselves, ‘It’s worth going to vote.’ ”
Attacker Stays Silent
On Friday, a man attacked soldiers with machetes at the entrance of a mall that leads to the Louvre Museum. The soldiers responded quickly, shooting the attacker in the stomach. Now that the man has had time to recover in the hospital, questioning has commenced. However, the unknown man refused to speak to law enforcement during an interview on Sunday. For the moment, it is suspected that the attacker is Abdullah Hamamy, a 29-year-old Egyptian national living in Dubai who was traveling in France as a tourist. Mr. Francois Molins, France’s top antiterror prosecutor, has announced that a terrorist investigation had been opened, but he acknowledges that authorities do not yet know with absolute certainty whether the attacker was operating with such motives. As of now, Molins has shared the following information: if the attacker is indeed Mr. Hamamy, then he had a valid tourist visa for the rest of the month and a return ticket to Dubai, he was staying in a hotel in Paris’ Eighth Arrondissement, and he had purchased the machetes used in the attack while in Paris.
Trump Travel Appeal Rejected
Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries was blocked on Friday by a federal judge. On Saturday, President Trump requested that the travel ban be reinstated but was again met with strong opposition; on Sunday morning the Federal Appeals Court upheld the suspension. The Court is giving the White House, and all parties wanting to either suspend or sustain the travel ban, until Monday to present new supporting materials to the Court for consideration. The Court has said that those traveling from the seven specified countries may continue to enter the United States. This week, both sides will file for a formal review of the travel ban suspension. President Trump was quick to comment on the matter, calling Judge Robart, who ruled for the suspension, a “socalled judge.” However, several figures within the U.S. government have shown support for the judge. Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said that it is “best to avoid criticizing judges individually.” Even Vice President Mike Pence has acknowledged that it was well within Judge Robart’s rights to challenge the President.
War Lord Sanctions Dropped
In Afghanistan, Mr. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is called “the Butcher of Kabul” due to his position as a militant group leader that fired rockets upon the city while fighting the soviet occupation. These attacks left the city devastated and may have encouraged the empowerment of the Taliban. After fighting the Soviets, he served as Afghanistan’s prime minister. However, in the years that followed, it is suspected that Mr. Hekmatyar supported attacks by both the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and the U.S. has since labeled him as a terrorist. Nevertheless, the Afghan government has recently made a deal with Hekmatyar. The government has asked the United Nations to drop sanctions against Hekmatyar and grant him immunity within Afghanistan. In exchange, Mr. Hekmatyar will assure the government that he now renounces violence and will support the nation’s constitution. The government hopes that the agreement between Hekmatyar and his militant followers will encourage the Taliban to consider similar peace agreements.