Macron cheers from the stands — then ‘dabs’ in the changing room

first_imgAfter the final whistle, Macron found himself on the pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium without an umbrella during a fierce downpour that started during the trophy presentation — unlike Putin who was sheltered by an aide.“MERCI” he wrote in a one-word tweet after the match, which gave France its second World Cup victory and sparked euphoric street parties across the country.Widely shared footage posted on Twitter later showed him with French defender Benjamin Mendy and star midfielder Paul Pogba in the changing room attempting to “dab” — a craze thought to have been started by Atlanta rappers.“Mr President, what’s the new move nowadays?” Mendy says to Macron, “The dab!” he adds, as Macron obliges with two attempts at the movement popularised by American football player Cam Newton.Macron, who used to play left-back in university football teams, had met the squad before they left for the competition, urging them to return home with the famous golden World Cup trophy.He will welcome them at the presidential palace in Paris on Monday when the victorious players return home and the former investment banker will be hoping some of the feelgood factor rubs off on him.Former President Jacques Chirac benefitted from a leap in his ratings in 1998 when France won its first World Cup despite not knowing many of the player’s names.Macron, who has pushed through a series of pro-business reforms since his election in May last year, has seen his ratings slide again recently following criticism that he is out-of-touch and elitist.A recent poll by the Odoxa group found that 75 percent of respondents judged him “not close to the people.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000President Emmanuel Macron celebrates despite pouring rain as the France team are presented with the World Cup © AFP / FRANCK FIFEMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jul 15 – President Emmanuel Macron was pictured cheering from the stadium, got drenched in the rain on the pitch, then attempted to “dab” with the players in the changing room Sunday after France’s victory in the World Cup.The football-loving 40-year-old leapt to his feet to celebrate France’s goals as he attended the game in Moscow alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.last_img read more

Stars Issue a Call to Amnesty International in Open Letter

first_imgMore than 400 national and international women’s rights groups, including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), human rights advocates, medical doctors, actors and directors, fashion designers, faith-based organizations and concerned individuals from over 30 countries signed an open letter to Amnesty International expressing their dismay at its policy proposal calling for the decriminalization of the sex industry.If passed at Amnesty’s International Council Meeting in Dublin from Aug. 7–11, this policy would in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.Within 24 hours of learning about Amnesty’s proposed policy, scores of Hollywood stars and prominent individuals began to join an international grassroots campaign urging Amnesty to stand with those exploited in the sex trade, who are mostly women, rather than with their exploiters. Among the signatories are Oscar-winning actress, Meryl Streep, chef and activist, Alice Waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Anna Quindlen, author, Hannah Pakula, poet and human rights activist, Rose Styron and 2008 Amnesty International Human Rights Award winner, Lydia Cacho. Others include: Angela Bassett, Emily Blunt, Jonathan Demme, Grace Hightower De Niro, Lena Dunham, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jones, Kevin Kline, Lisa Kudrow, Kyra Sedgwick, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Eve Ensler, Marcia Gay Harden, Carey Mulligan, Ali Wentworth and many more.The response to the open letter issued by CATW was so exceedingly positive that it is now a campaign on Change.org and is open for more signatures.As the letter states, campaigners firmly agree with Amnesty that those who are prostituted must not be criminalized or brutalized by law enforcement and governments. However, full decriminalization of the sex trade renders pimps “businesspeople” who sell vulnerable individuals, overwhelmingly with histories of poverty, discrimination, homelessness and sexual abuse, to buyers of sex with impunity.“I hope and believe that Amnesty will understand the parallels with other forms of economically compelled body invasion — for instance, the sale of organs,” added Gloria Steinem. “The millions who are prostituted experience trauma and shortened lives. Legalization keeps pimps, brothel keepers, and sex-slavers in freedom and riches. Criminalization puts the prostituted in prison. What works is the ‘third way,’ the Nordic model, which offers services and alternatives to prostituted people, and fines buyers and educates them to the realities of the global sex trade.”Extensive evidence shows the catastrophic effects of legalizing or decriminalizing pimping and brothels, demonstrated in Germany and the Netherlands, for example. With impunity for the commercial sexual exploitation of marginalized populations comes an increase in sex trafficking to satisfy the demand for prostitution. Studies and survivors’ testimonies demonstrate that the sex industry is predicated on dehumanization, degradation and gender violence that can cause life-long physical and psychological harm.“A vote calling for legalizing pimping would in effect support gender apartheid, in which some women in society can demand protection from rape, discrimination and sexual harassment, while others, the most vulnerable among us, are instead set aside for consumption by men and for the profit of their pimps,” said Taina Bien-Aimé, CATW’s executive director. “This is far from what Eleanor Roosevelt envisioned for the world when she penned the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”Source:CATWInternational.orglast_img read more

Only equal on the battlefield Efforts underway to honour Indigenous veterans

first_imgThe Canadian PressFrancis Pegahmagabow went to a recruitment office almost immediately after war was declared in 1914.The Ojibwa sniper from Wasauksing First Nation of Parry Island would serve with the 1st Infantry Battalion and went on to become one of the most decorated soldiers in the First World War.When he returned to Canada, his reputation as a brave soldier counted for very little and he didn’t receive the same rights or benefits as his white comrades.“They’d gone from being a soldier to just an Indian again,” said Scott Sheffield, associate professor at the University of Fraser Valley and author of a report on First Nations veterans that prompted a federal government apology in 2003.Indigenous people were part of every 20th-century conflict Canada was involved in and served in the Canadian military at a higher per-capita rate than any other group.About 4,000 First Nations men served in the First World War. After the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, they returned to Canada still unable to vote and largely shut out of the meagre benefits on offer.Although veterans were eligible to borrow money through the government for farm land, it was almost impossible for First Nations veterans to qualify.“Worse than that, around 80,000 acres of reserve land that was good for farming was actually taken away from reserves, mostly in the Prairies, and largely given to white settler veterans,” Sheffield said.That didn’t stop Indigenous people from taking up the call again when Canada joined the Second World War – about 4,300 enlisted.Thomas (Tommy) Prince, a member of the Brokenhead Ojibwa Nation in Manitoba, enlisted in 1940 and eventually was assigned to the Canadian-American First Special Service Force, known as the Devil’s Brigade. He became a legendary sniper, was awarded multiple medals and also served in the Korean War.Back in Canada, Prince ended up living in shelters and on the streets of Winnipeg until his death in 1977.After the Second World War, Indigenous veterans couldn’t get information from trained veterans affairs counsellors, and had to go through their Indian agent. It was difficult for them to connect with non-Indigenous comrades because they weren’t allowed in legion halls.They were also unable to get a loan-grant combination that helped veterans set up careers and businesses.But Indigenous men and women continued to enlist and serve in the military, from NATO duties during the Cold War to more recent tours in Afghanistan.Now an effort is underway to honour their sacrifice.Randi Gage, a Saginaw Chippewa from Michigan and a United States army veteran, organized the first Aboriginal Veterans Day in Manitoba in 1993. She wanted a day to honour them in their own communities but still allowed them to gather for Remembrance Day ceremonies.Nov. 8 was chosen because the number turned sideways is the Metis infinity symbol and it’s connected to some First Nations teachings, Gage said. She wrote letters to communities and veterans organizations to spread the word about the event.“Most of the letters came back the most racist, disgusting: ‘What the hell do you think you are doing?’, ‘What makes you so special?”’ she said.But the event went ahead with a handful of veterans.The next year, National Aboriginal Veterans Day was inaugurated by Winnipeg’s city council. Gage said thousands of people attended to honour Indigenous veterans.“To see the pride in those guys, it still gets me today,” she said, starting to cry. “It started the discussion. It started people talking.”The 25th Aboriginal Veterans Day is being celebrated Thursday but Gage said there is still more work to do.The federal Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs has launched a study of benefits for Indigenous veterans.Veterans Affairs said in an emailed statement it is committed meeting the needs of Indigenous veterans and is talking to Aboriginal groups to determine the way forward.Meanwhile, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa is holding a photographic exhibition, presented by the Embassy of Belgium, to celebrate the diversity of those who fought for the Allied effort.It includes images of Maori soldiers from New Zealand, Sikhs from the Indian Army Corps, and a photo of Indigenous recruits and elders from File Hills, Sask.A photo of Inuk sniper John Shiwak, who died on the battlefield in 1917, also hangs on the wall.Peter MacLeod, the museum’s director of research, said he hopes it changes the perspective of people who fought in the First World War.“There is a huge story there about the diversity of the Canadian corps and the war effort in general,” he said. “This exhibition … makes Canadians a bit more aware of the diversity in our country’s history and the contribution that all groups have made to Canada.”news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more