Target set for e-mails
The Department of State has proposed a deadline of the middle of January to finish its review and release 55,000 pages of former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s work e-mails she sent through a private server and has since turned over to the department. Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal e-mail account for government business has prompted concerns about transparency and security. The Jan. 15 deadline came to light in a document filed on Monday in a Washington federal court in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Vice News against the department seeking Clinton’s e-mails. “The department understands the considerable public’s interest in these records and is endeavoring to complete the review and production of them as expeditiously as possible,” acting director of Information Programs and Services John Hackett said in the filing. “The collection is, however, voluminous and ... presents several challenges.”
Massacre survivor quits
One of the few cartoonists to survive a Muslim militant attack on Charlie Hebdo journal is leaving the publication, saying he can no longer bear the pressure. Renald Luzier, better known as Luz, announced his decision in an interview in Liberation. “Every print-run was torture because the others are no longer there,” said Luz, who drew the cover picture on the first post-attack edition of Charlie Hebdo, but had recently declared he would no longer draw cartoons of the prophet Mohammed because he was fed up with it.
The Ministry of Civil Service yesterday advertised vacancies for eight executioners after beheading nearly as many people since the start of the year as it did in the whole of last year. The ministry said that no qualifications were necessary and that applicants would be exempted from the usual entrance exams. It said that as well as beheadings, the successful candidates would be expected to carry out amputations ordered by the courts under the kingdom’s strict version of Shariah law.
Teachers launch strike
Teachers yesterday went on strike to protest against a proposed reform of secondary education. Minister of National Education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, 37, has come under fire for the disputed reforms. Among the most contentious elements is a proposal to reduce the teaching of Latin and Ancient Greek in favor of a general class on classical culture. Teachers are also furious at plans to give schools more autonomy in a system that has previously sought to ensure that all children at high school level receive exactly the same education.
‘Le selfie’ enters dictionary
Two of the bibles of the French language, the Petit Larousse encyclopedic dictionary and Le Petit Robert, have developed a few new culinary and artistic tastes. The editors on Monday announced the latest editions would contain 300 new words and expressions, including “focaccia,” biryani, goji and “vegan.” Showing it is moving with the times, and in defiance of the Academie Francaise’s diktat’s on Anglicisms, next year’s edition of Larousse will include what Liberation newspaper described as the “unbearable” word “selfie” — plus its Quebecois equivalent “egoportrait” — as well as “big data” and “open data,” “community manager” and “bitcoin.”
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete