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CRIME

French World War Two memorial vandalised with anti-health pass slogan

A memorial to French World War II soldiers and Resistance fighters has been vandalised with an anti-health pass slogan, authorities said, an act that President Emmanuel Macron branded an "insult" to the nation's memory.

President Emmanuel Macron at a ceremony at the Mont Valerien World War Two monument on November 11th, 2021
French President Emmanuel Macron attended the monument on November 11th. Photo:Christophe Petit Tesson / POOL / AFP

The Mont Valerien monument in Suresnes, west of Paris, was vandalised with “Anti Pass” painted in large letters, with the style of the double-s reminiscent of that used by Nazis for their SS inscriptions, authorities said.

The inscription on the monument – which was inaugurated in 1960 by then-president Charles de Gaulle – is 50m long, they said.

Macron called the act, “an insult to the memory of our heroes and the memory of the nation”.

In a tweet, he said that “to sully this sacred place of the republic is to violate what unites us. The perpetrators will be found and put on trial.”

France requires a health pass, which demonstrates proof of vaccination, Covid recovery or a negative test result, for access to restaurants and cafes, public transport and cultural venues, a requirement that sparked major protests last summer.

The government is pushing for a fast rollout of booster shots in an effort to avoid another lockdown, amid a fifth wave of infections and concerns over the new Omicron variant.

It has also said the pass will lapse after seven months for anyone who fails to get a booster shot.

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CRIME

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

France’s Economy Minister has praised the work of Bordeaux law officers, after they seized more than 2.4 tonnes of cannabis resin with an estimated street value in excess of €19 million.

French police seize 2.4 tonnes of cannabis near Bordeaux

Bruno Le Maire and Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts Gabriel Attal in a joint statement: “Once again, Customs distinguished itself with an exceptional seizure of cannabis, recalling its key role in the fight against drug trafficking. We congratulate the customs officers for their daily commitment to the protection of our fellow citizens.”

Two people were taken into custody after officers stopped a lorry from Spain on the A63, near the Saugnac-et-Muret toll area, just south of Bordeaux, on Monday.

According to Le Figaro, the drugs were hidden in side compartments of the lorry, and concealed by its stated load of wheat, and were discovered by a sniffer dog during the stop.

In total, 2,414.8kg of cannabis resin and 9.75kg of cannabis herb were intercepted by the Bordeaux brigade, with an estimated value of more than €19 million on the illicit market.

Since the end of July, 2022, Customs officials have seized nearly 73 tonnes of drugs, including 41.2 tonnes of cannabis.

The French drugs squad is now investigating to determine the point of origin of the drugs, as well as their destination and the crime network behind the smuggling attempt.

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