France Charges Al-qaeda Suspect Deported From Pakistan

View gallery French commandoes stand guard outside the National Police College in Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or, on October 15, 2012 (AFP Photo/Philippe Desmazes) Paris (AFP) – A French-Algerian man suspected of Al-Qaeda ties and deported from Pakistan this week has been charged with terror offences, French judicial officials said on Saturday. Intelligence officials believe Naamen Meziche was once connected to Al-Qaeda’s so-called “Hamburg cell”, which planned the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Deported on Tuesday, he was charged and remanded in custody in Paris on Friday for criminal conspiracy in relation with a terrorist enterprise, with a view to carrying out criminal acts, the source said. Meziche had been in Pakistani custody since being arrested in May 2012 in the southwest of the country along with three other suspected French jihadis, who were sent back to France in April and charged on the same count. Born in Paris in 1970, Meziche left France in the early 1990s for Afghanistan, then Germany where he is alleged to have come into close contact with the “Hamburg Cell”. He has been known to intelligence officials for more than a decade, though he has no criminal record in Europe. French law gives authorities broad powers to detain and prosecute a suspect for intending to carry out terrorist acts or contacting organisations suspected of terrorism. Though Meziche is suspected of being a long-time Al-Qaeda member, no proof has yet emerged of his involvement in any specific act of terror, and security officials are divided about how big a player he is. One French anti-terror officer told AFP this week Meziche was “a big fish — right in the… heart of Al-Qaeda”. But another source close to the case said it was “hard to say if he is an active player or a bit of a has-been”. Crime & Justice Seoul (AFP) – North Korea on Saturday issued a fresh warning of an “all-out war”, urging the United States to stop military drills and what it described as “nuclear blackmail”. AFP BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A North Dakota farmer who discovered an oil spill the size of seven football fields while out harvesting wheat says that when he found it, crude was bubbling up out of the ground. Associated Press Shanghai (AFP) – Defending champion Novak Djokovic swept aside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 7-5 on Saturday, as a mouthwatering Shanghai Masters title showdown loomed against world number one Rafael Nadal.

France bows to stage director Patrice Chereau, dead at 68

Mercenaries from Chad and Sudan already form a large portion of Seleka rebels. Janjaweed Arab fighters from Darfur are present. Members of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, which Uganda accuses Khartoum of backing, have set up in the country. CAR is geographically at the center of what some strategists have called an “arc of insecurity” involving Islamic militants and stretching from Kenya and Somalia in eastern Africa to Mauritania in the west. The power vacuum in CAR is paving the way for al Qaeda-linked Islamists ousted from Mali, while lawlessness in north Cameroon is opening a route to CAR for Nigeria’s Boko Haram. “We are seeing the start of an internal sectarian poison that we never had in the past coupled with an international aspect that we hadn’t seen either,” said the source. POOR RELATIONSHIP Unlike some of its other colonies in Africa, France has had a poor relationship with CAR since independence in 1960, and has been reluctant to get directly involved in the crisis, urging African nations to do their utmost to resolve it. The African Union has responded by deploying about 2,500 troops as part of its 3,600-strong MISCA mission, made up of forces from Chad, Gabon, Congo Republic and Cameroon. But its material, logistic and financial resources are limited, prompting Paris to seek a U.N. Security Council mandate that would address that and turn MISCA into a U.N. peacekeeping force ultimately supported by French troops. “It’s not obvious, because CAR doesn’t interest anybody. People hardly know where it is, and if we don’t do it then nobody will,” said another French diplomat.

France wants action on Central Africa ‘sectarian poison’

By 1971, he was back in France, this time in Lyon, where his “violent, virulent and sumptuous theatre” presentations, as the Paris daily Liberation put it, built his reputation further. Then in 1976, when the French conductor Pierre Boulez asked him to direct Wagner’s “Ring” cycle of operas at the legendary festival in Bayreuth, Chereau made his unforgettable debut on the international opera scene. His adaptation of Wagner’s Nordic myths as a 19th-century drama of capitalist exploitation of workers met with raucous boos at its debut. But at the end of its final presentation in 1980, the audience saluted him with an hour and a half of exuberant applause. “We always worked together with a lot of passion,” Boulez said after learning that Chereau, whom he called “the only director I wanted to work with”, had died. “What made his work stand out was the extreme precision with which he created a character out of the slightest figure,” he told Le Monde. “I always felt confident with Chereau – when he wanted to try something out, I always told him ‘yes’.” Chereau also turned his talents to the cinema, producing films while he also worked in theatre and opera. His first efforts in the 1970s were not critically acclaimed. But he won a Cesar, the French equivalent of the Oscars, for best screenplay in 1983 for “L’homme blesse” (The Wounded Man). In 1994, his film “La Reine Margot” (Queen Margot) won the Jury Prize and best actress prizes at the Cannes festival. Five Cesars followed the next year. His 2001 film “Intimite” (Intimacy) won the Golden Bear for best film at the Berlin Film Festival. Chereau credited his parents with stirring his interest in art, especially drawing.