France’s Macron under fire after aide caught hitting May Day protester PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron came under fire on Thursday after his office suspended one of his aides who was caught on camera striking a May Day protester, but did not inform law enforcement authorities. Emmanuel Macron at the Paris book fair, France, March 24, 2017. Picture taken March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer Critics said the incident reinforced perceptions of a leader out of touch with ordinary people in France, coming on the heels of controversies over government spending on official crockery, a swimming pool built at a presidential retreat, and cutting remarks by Macron about the costs of welfare. A video from a May Day rally released by Le Monde newspaper showed a man wearing a police helmet and identification tag dragging a woman away and then striking a demonstrator. He was later recognized as a member of the French presidency staff. “The staff member, Alexandre Benalla, had been given permission to witness the demonstrations only as an observer,” presidential spokesman Bruno Roger-Petit said in a hastily arranged video statement. “Clearly, he went beyond this…He was immediately summoned by the president’s chief of staff and given a 15-day suspension. This came as punishment for unacceptable behavior.” The Paris prosecutor, which was unaware of the matter before Thursday, launched a preliminary investigation against Benalla on suspicion of violence, usurping the function of a police officer and using signs reserved for public authorities. Alexandre Benalla, French presidential aide, is seen during the May Day labour union rally in Paris, France May 1, 2018.
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Washington Post: Trump loyalists reassign, remove VA employees Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. Staffers at the Department of Veterans Affairs loyal to President Donald Trump have reassigned or remove staffers perceived as disloyal to the President and his agenda for veterans, people familiar with the actions told The Washington Post. The Post reported that the transfers include more than a dozen career civil servants in leadership positions at the VA’s headquarters, who were given lower-visibility roles. The staffers say they were given no reasons for the changes, according to The Washington Post. The Post said the moves have been conducted by political appointees led by the VA’s acting secretary, Peter O’Rourke. They are the latest sign of fractures at the agency, which came to a head months ago when former Secretary David Shulkin was ousted. The VA continues to suffer from sinking morale and has been shedding senior staff for months. The Washington Post first reported, and CNN confirmed with a source familiar with the situation, that at least a half-dozen senior career staffers at the Veterans Benefits Administration have been transferred to less influential roles, some in other cities. But the reassignments and removals go beyond that part of the sprawling agency, according to The Washington Post, and have taken place as the President’s nominee to lead the VA, Robert Wilkie, awaits full Senate confirmation.
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From the sycophantic portrayal of journalists in last year’s Best Picture nominee The Post to The Handmaid’s Tale’s season two plot line casting Boston Globe reporters as literal martyrs , the media has never been so sure of its own importance. And there is no publication more wedded to this narrative than the Washington Post, who changed their motto last year to the truly hyperbolic “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” That same newspaper, that bastion of liberal values, today published an op ed from former Trump administration security official Michael Anton , arguing for an end to birthright citizenship in the United States via executive order. Anton is one of the most vile figures to emerge from this administration (which is saying a lot). He has written tirades against diversity and Islam, arguing that the former is “a source of weakness, tension and disunion” and that the latter is “incompatible with the modern West.” He also defended the notorious America First Committee, which tried to prevent the US from entering Wold War II using anti-semitic propaganda . Bill Kristol, of all people, compared Anton to prominent Nazi Carl Schmitt. Even Jonathan Chait—who usually saves his ire for the truly powerful, college students —has called him an authoritarian . Knowing this, the Washington Post, defender of democracy, decided to publish Anton’s argument for ending one of the few American traditions that contains any glimmer of compassion for immigrants. In the piece, Anton argues against the common interpretation of the 14th Amendment which was written to give citizenship rights to newly freed slaves, and that is the constitutional basis for birthright citizenship. Anton argues for a version of America that’s antithetical to what the Washington Post professes to support.
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