Macron Urges Calm; Paris Police Brace for More Violence - NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Macron Urges Calm; Paris Police Brace for More Violence

"Our country needs calm. It needs order. It needs to function normally again," President Emmanuel Macron said

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Protesters, Police Continue to Clash in Paris

    Protesters and police clashed for the second straight weekend in Paris. (Published Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018)

    Anticipating a fifth straight weekend of violent protests, France's president on Friday called for calm and the Paris police chief warned that armored vehicles and thousands of officers will be deployed again in the French capital.

    Police chief Michel Delpuech told RTL radio that security services intend to deploy Saturday in the same numbers as last weekend, with about 8,000 officers and 14 armored vehicles protecting the streets of Paris during a planned anti-government protest by the yellow vest movement.

    Delpuech said the biggest difference will be the deployment of more groups of patrol officers to catch vandals, who last weekend roamed the streets around the elegant Champs Elysees, looting and causing damage. Police arrested more than 1,000 people in Paris last weekend and 135 people were injured, including 17 police officers.

    French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner also urged protesters to express themselves peacefully after a police shootout on Thursday ended a two-day manhunt for a man suspected of killing four people near a Christmas market in the eastern city of Strasbourg. Hundreds of police were mobilized in the search, which ended with the suspect being shot dead.

    "I can't stand the idea that today people applaud police forces and that tomorrow some people will think it makes sense to throw stones at us," Castaner said from Strasbourg.

    A sixth "yellow vest" protester was killed this week, hit by a truck at a protest roadblock. Despite calls from authorities urging protesters — who wear the fluorescent safety vests that France requires drivers to keep in their cars — to stop their violence demonstrations, the movement rocking the country since mid-November has showed no signs of abating.

    "Last week, we pretty much handled the yellow vests but we also witnessed scenes of breakage and looting by criminals," Delpuech said. "Our goal will be to better control this aspect."

    The protests began Nov. 17 against a rise in gas taxes but have morphed into an expression of rage against France's high taxes and a sense that President Emmanuel Macron's government does not care about French workers.

    Macron has acknowledged he's partially responsible for the anger and has announced a series of measures aimed at improving French workers' spending power but has refused to reinstate a wealth tax that was lifted to spur investment in France.

    On Friday, Macron called for calm and order ahead of another weekend of protests.

    Avalanche Buries Unknown Number of People in NM

    [NATL] Avalanche Buries Unknown Number of People in NM

    Ski Patrol and first responders are working to rescue an unknown number of skiers buried in an avalanche at Taos Ski Resort in New Mexico

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    "I don't think our democracy can accept" the "occupation of the public domain and elements of violence," Macron said in Brussels, speaking after attending a European Union summit there.

    "Our country needs calm. It needs order. It needs to function normally again," Macron said.

    He insisted he had heard the protesters' concerns and defended his promises to speed up tax relief. He also dismissed calls for his resignation, which is now among the protesters' disparate demands.

    Some trade unions are now calling for rolling strikes across the country.

    "The best action is to go on strike," said Philippe Martinez, the head of leftist trade union CGT. "There are inequalities in this country and we need to make big company bosses pay."

    One group of yellow vests has urged a non-violent protest on the Place de la Republique in Paris under the slogan "Je Suis Strasbourg" ("I am Strasbourg") to show solidarity with those killed and injured in Strasbourg on Tuesday night.

    Iowa Man Gets "Jackpot Treatment" for $1 Lotto Ticket Win

    [NATL] Iowa Man Gets "Jackpot Treatment" for $1 Lotto Ticket Win

    An Iowa man got the "Jackpot treatment" after winning $1 off a scratch-off lotto ticket. Tyler Heep decided to cash in the winning ticket at the Iowa Lottery Headquarters and was presented with a big check for his win. Heep spent his winnings on a gallon of gas.

    (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

    That refers to the "Je Suis Charlie" motto used by supporters of freedom of speech after a 2015 attack in which 12 people were killed at the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

    A fourth person died Friday from wounds suffered in an attack on the Christmas market in Strasbourg, as investigators worked to establish whether the main suspect had help while on the run.

    Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz, who handles terror cases throughout France, told a news conference that seven people are in police custody for the Strasbourg attack, including four family members of suspect Cherif Chekatt.

    Chekatt, 29, was shot dead Thursday during a police operation.

    "We want to reconstruct the past 48 hours in order to find out whether he got some support," Heitz said.

    Angela Charlton contributed to this report.

    ICE Detains Marine Veteran

    [NATL] ICE Detains Marine Veteran, Says No Investigation

    Family members are furious that a U.S. citizen and military veteran ended up in an immigration detention center facing the threat of deportation. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez was born and raised in Grand Rapids. His mother says he served a tour in Afghanistan while in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)