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Scenes of schoolchildren kneeling with their hands behind their heads has triggered outrage as France braces itself for more violent protests this weekend.

Footage, which has sparked condemnation by politicians, shows the pupils on the ground as riot police yell orders at them.

It is feared that the viral videos could further inflame the “yellow vest” protests, which have led to the worst rioting Paris has seen in decades.

With further “significant violence” expected on Saturday, Paris is going into effective lockdown, with the Eiffel Tower and scores of shops on the Champs-Elysees to close as a precaution, as well major museums including the Louvre.

The students were detained by police in the Paris suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie, in unrest that has spread to dozens of schools during three weeks of anti-government demonstrations.

A total of 146 people were arrested outside the town’s Saint-Exupery high school after protesters clashed with police and burned two cars.



French police fired water cannons and tear gas at fuel protesters in Paris








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Paris fuel protest turns violent

Responding to the images, socialist leader Olivier Faure tweeted: “Whatever wrong was done, nothing justifies this filmed humiliation of minors.

“There is no need to pour even more oil on the flames.”

Laurent Saint-Martin, a senior member of the ruling Republic On The Move (LREM) party, said around 40 of the students were masked and intent on carrying out vandalism and arson.

But he too described the videos as “shocking”, telling Franceinfo radio: “It’s right to be angry, looking at these images.”

Defending the treatment of the children, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner aid: “Over the past few days, the students have been joined by about 100 hooded youths armed with clubs and incendiary devices and determined to pick a fight with police.”

He said roadblocks had been set alight, missiles hurled at motorists and houses robbed in the area.

“It is in this context that the security forces stepped in,” said Mr Castaner.

He said the protests had “created a monster” and vowed a zero-tolerance approach by police to violence.

France is considering imposing a state of emergency as hundreds of people were arrested during the country's worst riots in 50 years.
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Protesters argue the president is out of touch with ordinary people and are calling on him to resign

Demonstrations at some 280 schools against stricter university entrance requirements have added to the feeling of discontent in France amid the continuing “yellow vest” protests.

Dozens of people wearing face masks threw Molotov cocktails, torched rubbish bins and clashed with police outside schools in several cities on Thursday.

The “yellow vest” protests, named after the safety jackets worn by demonstrators, began on 17 November in opposition to rising fuel taxes, but have since grown into a wider movement against Emmanuel Macron in the biggest challenge of his presidency so far.

The protesters are furious at rising costs of living blamed on high taxes, and accuse Mr Macron, a former investment banker, of favouring the rich with his policies.

They argue the president is out of touch with ordinary people and many are calling on him to resign.

Roads leading to the famous Arc de Triomphe were closed
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The ‘yellow vest’ protests have grown into a wider movement against Emmanuel Macron

Ahead of expected unrest tomorrow, a number of football games, including one involving Paris Saint-Germain, have been cancelled.

The closures are likely to cost businesses thousands of pounds in lost income as Christmas shoppers steer clear of the capital for a second weekend in a row.

Shops have lost around €1bn (£893m) in revenue since the start of the protests last month, according to the French retail federation (FCD), which includes large supermarket groups like Carrefour.

Farmers have called for demonstrations every day next week, while two lorry driver unions plan an indefinite sympathy strike from Sunday night.

Four people have died in accidents during the protests and political leaders have appealed for calm.

But many “yellow vests” have urged fresh protests this weekend, claiming a series of of government concessions do not go far enough.

The government this week scrapped planned fuel tax hikes planned for January – one of the protesters’ main demands – and announced a string of other measures designed to help low-income families.

The climbdown over the fuel tax – intended to help France move to a greener economy – marks a major shift for Mr Macron, who has previously vowed not to be swayed, like previous presidents, by large street protests.

Prominent “yellow vest” protester Benjamin Cauchy has called on Mr Macron to meet a delegation to defuse a situation that he said had brought France “to the brink of insurrection and civil war”.

“We’re asking him to meet us to negotiate on spending power, which is what underpins all this anger,” Mr Cauchy said.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the government was ready to consider “any measure which would allow us to boost spending power”.

But Mr Macron’s office has said he will stick to his decision to cut a “fortune tax” on high-earners, abolished last year in a bid to boost investment.

That decision is deeply unpopular with protesters and together with a series of comments, viewed as insensitive to ordinary workers, has led critics to dub Mr Macron a “president of the rich”.

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Google deals Huawei major blow by cutting Android licence | Science & Tech News

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Google has dealt a major blow to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei by blocking the firm from using critical apps and services like Gmail and YouTube on its range of smartphones, according to reports.

Just like other major smartphone makers including Samsung and LG, Huawei relies on the Google-developed Android operating system to power its mobile devices.

But, amid a US crackdown on Chinese technology companies due to ongoing security concerns, Reuters and The Verge report that Google has suspended business with Huawei and in doing so hugely undermined its lineup of handsets, which are among the most critically-acclaimed and best-selling on the market.

Huawei has become one of the world's leading smartphone manufacturers
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Huawei has become one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers

Existing products will no longer receive Android updates, which bring new features and security improvements, and future releases will lose access to the vital Google Play Store, through which users download new apps.

Huawei will instead be restricted to using a public version of the operating system called Android Open Source Project, which does not include standard Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Photos and YouTube.

Google headquarters office at Mountain View in California
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Google says there are 2.5 billion active Android devices worldwide

Although Huawei smartphones are banned from the US, enormous sales figures in China and impressive growth in parts of Europe has seen the company overtake iPhone maker Apple in terms of market share.

The Verge reported earlier this month that Huawei was now only behind Samsung when it comes to global smartphone sales, with 59.1 million shipments in the first quarter of 2019.

Google is developing its services as more people use them on mobile
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Future Huawei phones will no longer have access to YouTube

But the intervention from Google could cripple hopes of further expansion.

While a custom Huawei-built operating system would cause little issue in its home market, where most Google apps are banned anyway, it would likely be rejected by Western customers.

Google apps and services are a critical part of Android devices, and Huawei owners in Europe and the UK may now be forced to seek alternatives to what the Chinese company has to offer.









US diplomat’s fears over UK using Huawei

Huawei has not commented on the reports, but has continued to insist that its products pose no security threat.

Last week, its UK executive vice president Jeremy Thompson told Sky News it is willing to go the “extra mile” to reassure countries its technology is safe.

His comments came after Prime Minister Theresa May came in for criticism over a National Security Council decision to back the use of Huawei technology in “non-core” 5G network infrastructure in the UK.

That was despite a warning from the National Cyber Security Centre and the US government that the company could not be trusted.

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump has targeted the telecommunications giant in a round of sanctions

Donald Trump has declared a “national emergency” over the perceived threat posed by Chinese companies and imposed severe sanctions on Huawei, with US companies barred from using telecommunications equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security risk.

The US commerce department has also added Huawei and 70 affiliated companies to a blacklist banning it from acquiring components and technology from US firms without government approval.

Google has not responded directly to the reports, but said it was “complying with the order” issued by the US president and was “reviewing the implications”.

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New law could ban Britons from visiting terror hotspots in parts of northern Syria | UK News

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Hard-hitting new security powers that would ban British citizens from designated terrorist hotspots are set to be introduced across large parts of northern Syria.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed he is asking officials to draw up an urgent case for introducing the new ban around Idlib province in northwestern Syria and others areas in the northeast of the country.

The move comes amid an upsurge in violence around Idlib in particular, where Russian-backed Syrian government forces have launched an offensive against rebel fighters.

A picture taken on May 10, 2019 shows a building destroyed by reported shelling by government forces on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province
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Idlib province is repeatedly targeted by the Russian-backed Syrian government

On Friday, the United Nations warned of a “humanitarian crisis” and urged the Syrian and Russian governments to give assurances that the bombing of hospitals and schools would stop.

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019, which became law earlier this year, created a new power allowing the home secretary to ban British nationals from travelling to – or remaining in – specific designated areas.

Mr Javid said: “I’ve asked my officials to work closely with the police and intelligence agencies to urgently review the case for exercising this power in relation to Syria, with a particular focus on Idlib and the northeast.

“So anyone who is in these areas without a legitimate reason should be on notice.”

In order to use the power, the home secretary would need to be satisfied that it is necessary to restrict UK nationals and residents from a specific area and his recommendation would need to be ratified by parliament.

An individual found to have entered or remained in a designated area could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

The new law was introduced to counter the problem of hundreds of foreign fighters heading off to overseas trouble spots, with little fear of prosecution.

Officials estimate more than 900 British citizens travelled out to take part in the conflict in Syria.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid giving a speech about violent crime at the Oval Space in London
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Home Secretary Sajid Javid will give a speech on the potential bans on Monday

Around 400 have since returned, but difficulties in securing any evidence of wrongdoing in an area of lawlessness has meant less than 10% of those who have returned have been prosecuted.

Under the new law, prosecutors will only have to prove a person has been in a designated area without good reason.

There will be exemptions to the travel ban, allowing the likes of legitimate aid workers, journalists, or those attending a family funeral, to enter such areas.









Syrian government fire mortars in Idlib

Mr Javid will give more details of how he expects the new law to operate during a speech in central London on Monday morning, where he will also reassure his audience of extremism experts and security officials that, whatever Britain’s future relating to the EU is, the UK will continue to be a powerful international partner in dealing with security threats.

He is expected to say: “From terrorism, to crime, to hostile state activity, we are facing international problems, and they require an international response.

“As these threats become more global we all rely on an international system of defence, policing, security and intelligence. A safety net based upon cooperation, and unity.

“More than any other country on Earth, the UK has a coherent, connected approach to intelligence and security and when threats appear, the world still turns to the UK for leadership, support, and action.”

Despite the large scale dismantling of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, security officials warn the UK terror threat will continue to be very significant for the foreseeable future.

The recent bombings in Sri Lanka, which have been linked to IS, and the reappearance of the group’s leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, have shown that the fragmentation of the terror network has not weakened its determination to launch attacks around the globe.

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House explosion kills one person and injures two others in Indiana | US News

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One person has died and two more have been injured after a house exploded in Indiana.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the explosion in Jeffersonville.

Several homes nearby are uninhabitable
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Several homes nearby are uninhabitable

Lieutenant Isaac Parker from Jeffersonville Police said the explosion happened just before 5am Sunday.

Five to six homes nearby have been left uninhabitable after the blast.

One person was killed in the explosion
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One person was killed in the explosion

Lt Parker said two people had serious injuries and were in hospital.

It’s not clear if any of the victims were in the house when it exploded.

Damaged vehicles next to the debris of the home explosion
Image:
Damaged vehicles next to the debris of the home explosion

Fire chief Eric Hedrick said the home was mostly destroyed.

Adam Keeney, who lives nearby, told WHAS-TV that he felt a “big boom” in his chest after the explosion and that it knocked the gutters off his house.

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