Update: French PM renounces fuel tax rises

Latest: French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe has announced a suspension on fuel tax hikes, after protesters took to rioting in the French capital and surrounding areas.

Following crisis talks in Paris today, the PM renounced the policy put forward by President Emmanuel Macron. He stated that the fuel increase will be suspended for six months.

“No tax is worth putting the nation’s unity in danger.”

French motorists began protesting the tax spike in mid-November, when leader Macron announced the price rise was a necessity to combat climate change. However, the protests took a violent turn when political protesters known as “Yellow Vests” began violent clashes with authorities.

The riots, which saw over 130,000 people take to the streets in protest saw major damage to multiple homes, cafes and stores throughout Paris has seen more than 400 arrests since the clashes began. Over 133 were injured, including 23 members of the French security forces.

The action took a sinister turn Saturday afternoon when an 80 year old woman was killed after being struck with a gas canister thrown during the troubles. The unnamed woman, who was at home at the time of the incident, was struck in the head whilst closing her shutters. The woman was taken to hospital but died in the operating theatre. Two more people have also been killed.

Macron and Philippe’s approval rating have hit a new low as the violence spread across Paris and the hope is the suspension of the tax increase eases tensions between protesters and the government.

Munster clash off after terror attacks

Photo courtesy of Fabien Lavocat/Flickr

French national stadium, Stade De France. Photo courtesy of Fabien Lavocat/Flickr

Munster’s European Champions Cup match against French side Stade Francais has been postponed following the terror attacks which rocked Paris on Friday.

The series of tragic incidents around the French capital left 129 dead and Stade Francais said they had taken the decision to call off the game so as not to add to the workload of public and law enforcement employees in the city.

The club proposed a new date for the fixture, however there has been no decision yet and it will be announced in due course.

Stade’s statement added:

“In light of recent and tragic events, Stade Francais Paris does not wish to overburden or complicate the work of the government and security forces by organising a sporting event to bring together 15,000 people in Stade Jean-Bouin.”

Munster’s chief executive Garrett Fitzgerald said the Irish club “fully understood” the decision to postpone the game.

All of last weekend’s matches due to be held in France were called off, including Ulster’s trip to Oyonnax.


SNP Deputy Leader backs ‘Shoot-to-kill’

Stewart Hosie. Photo courtesy of Cicero Group/Flickr

Stewart Hosie. Photo courtesy of Cicero Group/Flickr

The SNP Deputy Leader has given his backing to a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy.

Stewart Hosie has said that he stands by the right of the police to ‘shoot-to-kill’ if someone was posing a “real and immediate risk” to life.

As news filtered through that at least two people had died during a police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis, Mr Hosie told the Good Morning Scotland programme:

“If a terrorist runs down Sauchiehall Street, God forbid, or Whitehall with a Kalashnikov and a police officer has a split-second decision to make, then the choice in terms of public safety is very clear.

“I think if someone is posing a real and immediate risk to the lives of many hundreds or thousands of people then of course one has to trust the police to take the necessary action.”

He added:

“We have seen the news reports from Saint Denis this morning. These people won’t be arrested. One of the people who was subject to the police investigations this morning blew herself up with a suicide belt apparently.

“There is no negotiating with someone who has a suicide belt strapped to them, who is prepared to fire hundreds of rounds at civilians with a machine gun.

“Split second decisions require to be made and we all hope they are the right ones but I certainly would trust the police in those circumstances.”

This morning police raided a flat in Saint Denis leaving two people dead after a woman detonated a suicide belt. The raid involved gunfire and explosions as armed police searched for the suspects of Friday’s attacks.

Callum Steele of the Scottish Police Federation condemned such discussion saying that it “raises tensions and brings additional and unnecessary emotion into what is by any measure a difficult topic.

“Fewer than 2% of the police service in Scotland is routinely armed. They are highly skilled, highly trained and we should allow them to use their professional judgement without interference from politicians.”

This week Jeremy Corbyn announced that he would not be happy with a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy if terrorists threatened the UK. The Labour leader has since been criticised by his own MPs.

These comments follow the Paris terrorist attack which claimed the lives of almost 130 people. Earlier today French President Francois Hollande repeated his claim that his country’s at war with Islamic State which is also know as Daesh.

Police make fresh raids in Paris

Jordi Boixareu

Photo courtesy of Jordi Boixareu/Flickr.

Armed police have raided an apartment in the Parisian suburb of Saint Denis, located in the north west of the city. The raids, following Friday’s fatal attacks which claimed the lives of 129 people, targeted suspected terrorists linked to the shootings.

Police are said to have shot dead two of the suspects during these raids, whilst a woman in the flat is believed to have blown herself up with a suicide belt, according to prosecutors.

The operation is thought to have been targeting Abdelhamid  Abaaoud, the man believed to be behind Friday’s attacks, which killed 129 people.

EN4 News spoke to students based in the French capital, who described the atmosphere as “shell shocked”, leaving residents “tense and jumpy.”

“People set off fireworks at Place de la République in tribute to those who died and everyone fled in panic thinking it was another bomb. It’s odd trying to get on with daily life when it happened so close to home, but I get the sense people are just trying to return to normality despite the fear that something bad could happen at any time.”

Roads have been blocked off surrounding Saint Denis, and truckloads of soldiers are said to have joined the armed Police.

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve has praised the bravery of the officers who took part.


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