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Islamist Charlie Hebdo Gunmen Face Trial; Macron: 'Satire is not a discourse of hate'

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 02 September 2020

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FILE PHOTO: A person holds up a "Je Suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) sign during a ceremony at Place de la Republique to pay tribute to the victims of last year's shooting at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, France, January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Yoan Valat/Pool

Magazine plans to re-publish cartoons.

Political, Security // BLUF: Accomplices of the gunmen that attacked the office of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish store, killing 17 people, face trial on Wednesday.

Charlie Hebdo gained notoriety within the Islamic community for publishing political satire cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed, and drew the attention of Islamic extremist groups, including Al Qaeda; who claimed responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

President Emmanuel Macron, speaking from Lebanon, stated “Satire is not a discourse of hate,” regarding the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.

Charlie Hebdo plans to re-publish the cartoons to coincide with the trial.

(See Point 2 Below for Further Information)

The Daily Quick-Look for 02 September 2020

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.

1. UNITED STATES, CHINA - Security, Political: Pompeo hopeful China's Confucius Institutes will be gone from U.S. by year-end

FYSA: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday he was hopeful that Chinese Confucius Institute cultural centers on U.S. university campuses would all be shut down by the end of the year. “I think everyone’s coming to see the risk associated with them,” Pompeo told Lou Dobbs on the Fox Business Network, accusing the Chinese-government funded institutes of working to recruit “spies and collaborators” at U.S. colleges. “I think these institutions can see that, and I’m hopeful we will get them all closed out before the end of this year.” Last month, Pompeo labeled the center that manages the Confucius Institutes in the United States “an entity advancing Beijing’s global propaganda and malign influence” and required it to register as a foreign mission. David Stilwell, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, said at the time that the dozens of Confucius Institutes on U.S. campuses were not being kicked out, but U.S. universities should take a “hard look” at what they were doing on campus. Pompeo was asked about a warning last month by the Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, about the need to avoid a new Cold War, an apparent reference to escalating tensions between China and the United States. Pompeo said “the Cold War analogy has some relevance,” but the challenges with China were different. “This is different from the Cold War in that we are challenged by a country with 1.4 billion people,” he said. “The challenges are different, they are economic challenges.” Pompeo referred to actions the Trump administration has taken to restrict the activities of Chinese firms like Huawei Technologies Co and said further moves could be expected. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

2. FRANCE - Political, Security: Charlie Hebdo attack accomplices face trial five years on

FYSA: The Islamist gunmen who struck the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish store, killing 17, are dead but on Wednesday, five years after the attack that marked the onset of a wave of Islamist violence in France, their alleged accomplices face trial. Fourteen defendants, three of whom will be tried in absentia and may be dead, face charges including financing terrorism, membership in a terrorist organisation and supplying weapons to the perpetrators: Said and Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly. On Jan. 7, 2015, the Kouachi brothers went on a killing spree in the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, whose satire on race, religion and politics tested the limits of what society would accept in the name of free speech. They killed 12 in an attack claimed by al Qaeda. The following day, Coulibaly, an acquaintance of Cherif Kouachi, killed a female police officer. On Jan. 9, he killed four Jewish men at a kosher supermarket. In a video, he said he acted in the name of Islamic State. More than 250 people have been killed in France in Islamist violence since the attacks and countering the threat remains a government priority, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin says. Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch placed Charlie Hebdo’s then-director on its “wanted list” after the weekly published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, including one of him in a bomb-shaped turban. The magazine plans to re-publish the cartoons to coincide with the trial. “We will never lie down. We will never give up,” editor Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau wrote. President Emmanuel Macron said it was not for him to pass comment on the magazine’s editorial judgement and that the freedom to blaspheme went in hand in hand with the freedom of belief in France. “Satire is not a discourse of hate,” the president told a news conference in Beirut. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

3. BELARUS - Political: 'Scores' detained as students in Belarus protest against President Lukashenko

FYSA: University students walked out of class on the first day of term to protest against the disputed re-election of Belarus' authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko. Belarusian police confirmed that a number of people were detained as they marched towards the Education Ministry building in the capital Minsk.Social media videos verified by Euronews show students breaking through police cordons as authorities attempted to force the crowd to change route. Some held banners demanding freedom for political prisoners, as passing vehicles sounded their horns in support. The demonstrations marked a fourth week of mass protests that have rocked the country since the disputed election result on August 9. The Viasna human rights centre reported that at least 62 people were detained, including eight journalists. Euronews has seen images of injured protesters who say they were assaulted by police. (Euronews. See link in heading for further reading)

4. LEBANON - Political: Macron calls for reforms as Lebanon names new prime minister

FYSA: French President Emmanuel Macron called for the establishment of a new government quickly in Lebanon during a two-day trip to Beirut. It's Macron's second visit to the country since the 4 August explosion that damaged nearly half of the capital, killing at least 190 people and injuring thousands. Just ahead of the French president's visit, Lebanon's ambassador to Germany, Mustapha Adib, was named as the country's new prime minister. Four former prime ministers had supported the ambassador in a joint statement ahead of consultations between President Michel Aoun and parliamentary groups. According to the country's power-sharing system, the post of prime minister must be a Sunni Muslim. Adib has been the country's ambassador to Germany since 2013 and holds a doctorate in law and political science. He was previously an advisor to former Prime Minister Najib Mikati. (Euronews. See link in heading for further reading)

5. AUSTRALIA - Political: What happens if Facebook follows through on its threat to remove news in Australia?

FYSA: Facebook has threatened to remove Australians' ability to post news content to its platforms if the Federal Government doesn't back down on a proposed code of conduct that would force companies like Facebook and Google to pay local news outlets. "Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram," a statement from Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton said. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which developed the code, quickly hit back. "Ill-timed and misconceived," was how it described Facebook's threat in a statement. ACCC chair Rod Sims said: "Facebook already pays some media for news content. So, what do the changes entail? Why is Facebook reluctant to comply? Could this really go ahead? Under the ACCC's proposed code, Facebook and Google would be required to bargain and reach agreements with Australian news outlets. Part of this would require them to pay for-profit news companies for use of their content. That would be a world first. (ABC. See link in heading for further reading)

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