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Right-wing French magazine assails Black minister with racist slur

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France’s justice minister has been publicly subjected to racist taunts for the third time in barely a month, triggering a wave of outrage Tuesday over the hounding of the country’s top black politician.

In the wake of two highly-publicised incidents in which the minister, Christiane Taubira, was compared to a monkey, far right weekly magazine Minute published a cover page with the headline “Crafty as a monkey, Taubira gets her banana back”.

Amid an outcry over the magazine’s contents, Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced he was examining whether it was legally possible to block the distribution of the magazine.

“We cannot let this pass,” he said.

Numerous politicians took to Twitter to demand the prosecution of the magazine’s editor and publisher for incitement to racial hatred. Rights group SOS Racisme said it would lodge a legal complaint over the cover, a move that will force authorities to investigate whether any law has been breached.

Harlem Desir, the First Secretary of the ruling Socialist Party and one of the founders of SOS Racisme, said all copies of the magazine should be seized by police.

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Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron called the cover “Unacceptable and nauseating” and there was also widespread condemnation from members of the centre-right UMP opposition party.

Taubira is a hate figure for some on the right in French politics as she was the minister reponsible for the legalisation of gay marriage earlier this year.

Last week, she spoke publicly of her dismay over the attacks she has been subjected to and implicitly criticised her government colleagues for not coming to her defence.

Warning of a threat to France’s social cohesion, Taubira told the Liberation daily that, “Inhibitions are disappearing, dykes have been breached.”

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At the end of last month, a group of children attending an anti-Taubira/anti-gay marriage demonstration were filmed chanting “monkey, eat your banana”.

That came shortly after an electoral candidate of the far right National Front (FN) was expelled from her party for writing on her Facebook page that she would prefer to see the minister “swinging from the branches rather than in government”.

The treatment of Taubira has sparked much soul-searching among liberal commentators over whether racism has become widely acceptable in parts of French society.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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US attacks Russia’s power grid — but Trump was kept in the dark about it

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The New York Times is reporting that the United States is cyber attacking Russia's electric power grid and other targets—and that President Donald Trump is being kept out of the loop.

"The American strategy has shifted more toward offense, officials say, with the placement of potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before."

Trump has not been briefed on the operation because of “the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials.”

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Israel’s Netanyahu just christened a building named after Trump — that doesn’t even exist

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent his Father’s Day dedicating a new Trump Tower-type building that hasn't been built in a town that doesn't exist.

Standing in front of a large sign saying "Trump Heights," Netanyahu, who is being forced back into another election, announced the building before planning even began, Axios reported.

A great day on the Golan. PM Netanyahu and I had the honor to dedicate “Trump Heights” — first time Israel has dedicated a village in honor of a sitting president since Harry Truman (1949). Happy Birthday Mr. President!! @POTUS pic.twitter.com/fdYWzokFLK

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This graphic explains why Speaker Pelosi is resistant to impeachment

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has told her caucus that they can do investigations into the president without impeachment. The difference, however, is that there are fewer legal benefits available to Congress in their oversight role than in impeachment.

Theoretically, it should enable Democrats to do the research they need, but the White House is taking the bold step to defy the oversight the Constitution outlines. The only option open to the Democrats has been to go to court with their case outlining how the White House is breaking the law. Thus far, they've won two lawsuits about their investigations, and they will likely gain more.

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