The Paris attacks and Europe's 'overlooked' traffic in arms

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One of the key issues arising from the Paris terror attacks on Friday November 13th is the apparent ease with which the perpetrators and other terrorists got their hands on significant numbers of “decommissioned” military assault weapons. Belgium, where some of those who carried out the Paris attacks lived, is said by many to be the hub of the flourishing illegal firearms trade in Europe. Mediapart's Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant interviewed Belgian expert Cédric Poitevin on the issue.

President Hollande on war footing after Paris attacks

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After the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January this year President François Hollande's key focus was on pulling the nation together. Now, after the terror attacks that struck Paris on Friday November 13th, the French head of state has espoused the language of war to justify more air strikes by French jets in Syria and Iraq, stronger internal security measures, more police officers and, most notably, a change to the French constitution. In a rare address to French MPs and senators Hollande said on Monday: “France is at war.” As Lénaïg Bredoux and Martine Orange report, the mood in the French presidency is for tough talk and tough measures to combat jihadists – and also to stop the French Right from seizing the political initiative.

Afraid, the young people of Paris refuse to bow to terror

Les étudiants de la Sorbonne (Paris-V) observent une minute de silence, le lundi 16 novembre. © Reuters Les étudiants de la Sorbonne (Paris-V) observent une minute de silence, le lundi 16 novembre. © Reuters

The shootings and bombings in Paris on the evening of Friday November 13th targeted people – mainly young people – who had simply gone out to enjoy themselves. Two days after the killings Mediapart talked to pupils and students from the Paris region as they went back to school or university. Many spoke of their fear of being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and are still struggling to make sense of the carnage. But they insist they are determined to carry on living their lives to the full. Mathilde Goanec, Dan Israel, Amélie Poinssot and Ellen Salvi report.

What France’s state of emergency means in practice

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French President François Hollande announced a nationwide state of emergency on Saturday, granting the government exceptional powers in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in and around Paris that left at least 132 people dead. The powers initially last for 12 days, and Hollande announced on Monday he will seek parliamentary approval to prolong it for a period of three months. So just what are the special powers announced on Saturday? Michel de Pracontal explains.

France's anti-terrorist services overwhelmed by task at hand

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The terrorist attacks in Paris that have left at least 129 dead and hundreds wounded on Friday evening were committed by Islamists whose activities were apparently ignored by the French security services. Yet in the wake of the January attacks in Paris, French intelligence services were promised more financial and manpower resources, and this summer they were handed vast new intrusive surveillance powers. So just why is it that they appear to be overwhelmed by the jihadist threat? Michel Deléan and Louise Fessard report.

Why Islamic State is targeting France

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DATE IMPORTED:November 14, 2015Journalists work outside a restaurant where bullet impacts are seen the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes DATE IMPORTED:November 14, 2015Journalists work outside a restaurant where bullet impacts are seen the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris terror attacks on Friday, November 13th. But why has the terror group made France its “principal target”, ahead of other states involved in the anti-IS coalition in Iraq and Syria? French journalist and author David Thomson, an expert on French jihadists, explains the background to Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux.

Paris terror attacks: death toll rises to 129, IS claims responsibility, arrests in Belgium

 © Reuters © Reuters

At least 129 people died in the series of terrorist attacks in and around Paris on Friday evening, for which a statement purportedly from the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility. Late on Saturday the Paris public prosecutor said 352 people were known to have been wounded, of whom 99 were in a serious condition. He added that police believe the terrorists were divided into three teams. Three men were arrested Saturday in Belgium in connection with the attacks. President François Hollande has ordered three days of national mourning. Mediapart reports on the precise chronology of the Friday attacks and the latest information to emerge on Saturday.

Judicial expert study confirms Gaddafi-Sarkozy funding document as genuine

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En 2007, la lune de miel.  © Reuters En 2007, la lune de miel. © Reuters

A document published by Mediapart detailing how the Gaddafi regime in Libya agreed to secretly fund Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign is genuine, according to the conclusions of an expert analysis ordered by a French judge. The evaluation, involving highly sophisticated technology, was carried out as part of a judicial investigation into a complaint lodged against Mediapart by the former president for for ‘forgery and use of forgery’. The emphatic conclusion follows on a graphologists’s report that found the signature on the document was indeed that of Muammar Gaddafi’s spy chief, Moussa Koussa. Fabrice Arfi reports.

Why fear is our enemy

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The terrorist attack in Paris and at the Stade de France on Friday November 13th targeted the whole of society; our society, our France, a France made up of diversity, plurality, of people coming together and mixing, argues Mediapart's editor-in-chief, Edwy Plenel. It is that open society that the terror wants to shut down, to silence through fear, to make disappear through horror. And it is this society, he says, that we must defend because it is our most secure and lasting protection against terrorism.

The controversial new strategy to draw migrants out of Calais 'jungle'

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Vue aérienne de la « new jungle » de Calais.  © Reuters Vue aérienne de la « new jungle » de Calais. © Reuters

The northern French port of Calais was this week the scene of violent clashes between police and migrants who continue to gather in their thousands in the hope of crossing illegally into Britain. While a recent security clampdown at the port and Channel Tunnel entrance has succeeded in reducing incursions, migrants continue to arrive in Calais and the numbers living in the infamous makeshift ‘jungle’ camp have swollen significantly. As winter approaches, the authorities are attempting to disperse the migrants, some to holding centres, others into temporary accommodation, while actively inciting them to apply for asylum in France. Carine Fouteau reports.

The geographical limits to social mobility in France

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The upward social mobility of the children of blue collar workers in France varies significantly depending upon the region in which they are born, and has little to do with local economic opportunities, concludes a study, the first of its kind, published this month by a French government agency advising on national development policies. Mathilde Goanec reports.

Exclusive: the damning report into world athletics doping extortion scandal

By Federico Franchini
Turkey's Asli Cakir Alptekin celebrateS after winning gold in the women's 1500m final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 10, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS OLYMPICS) © Reuters Turkey's Asli Cakir Alptekin celebrateS after winning gold in the women's 1500m final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 10, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS OLYMPICS) © Reuters

Amid the ongoing corruption scandal tearing apart world football governing body Fifa, the association governing world athletics, the IAAF, is now rocked by revelations of an extortion racket implicating both its former president and senior staff arrested last week in France and who allegedly demanded cash to cover up doping evidence against athletes. The IAAF scandal reaches a high point on Monday when a World Anti-Doping Agency commission will deliver a report of its investigation into the scam. Mediapart has gained advance access to the commission’s disturbing findings. Federico Franchini reports.

The mad week that was: from the 'Butler tapes' to Omar Raddad

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Last week, journalists from Mediapart and weekly news magazine Le Point stood trial on ‘invasion of privacy’ charges for having published secretly-recorded conversations that revealed corruption and profiteering by the entourage of L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. The prosecution has demanded they receive symbolic fines, and a verdict will be delivered in January. Meanwhile, the tax administration demanded the online press make backpayments for VAT rates that no longer apply. The week was capped by developments in a long-running murder case where the possible proof of a shameful miscarriage of justice remains buried by inertia. Hubert Huertas pulls on a common thread linking all three events.

The injustice of the VAT body blow dealt to Mediapart

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La rédaction de Mediapart en 2013. © Reuters La rédaction de Mediapart en 2013. © Reuters

Mediapart has been notified by the French tax administration that it must pay a total of 4.1 million euros in an adjustment of its VAT payments over a six-year period between 2008 and 2014. The adjustment comes after Mediapart’s long campaign, finally vindicated by a law introduced in 2014, calling for the discriminatory 20% VAT rate for the online press to be removed and aligned to the 2.1% VAT rate applied to the print-based press. Mediapart, which openly applied the lower VAT rate amid years of discussions over the issue with the administration and government, must now meet the demand for the backpayments immediately, despite an appeal procedure. Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel explains the background to what appears to be a move of vengeance, and appeals here for your support in face of the severe threat now hanging over this independent online journal.

Journalism on trial in absurd closing act of the Bettencourt saga

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Liliane Bettencourt, le 29 mars 2012 © Reuters Liliane Bettencourt, le 29 mars 2012 © Reuters

This week, five journalists, including Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel and Mediapart investigative reporter Fabrice Arfi, stand trial in Bordeaux on charges relating to the violation of personal privacy. The case centres on the publication by Mediapart in 2010 of extracts of secretly recorded conversations between L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and her entourage of advisors which revealed a catalogue of corruption and manipulation surrounding the ageing billionaire and which led to the convictions of eight people earlier this year. Here, Fabrice Arfi denounces a trial that flouts press freedom laws and threatens the fundamental 'right to know'.