Les Bleus accueillis à l’Elysée par Emmanuel Macron

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Au lendemain de leur victoire en finale de la Coupe du monde, les joueurs de l’équipe de France ont été reçus le 16 juillet à l’Elysée par Emmanuel Macron. Dans un court discours, le président de la République a de nouveau dit « merci » aux joueurs et à leur encadrement, rassemblés dans le jardin de l’Elysée avec quelque 3 000 personnes dont de nombreux jeunes. « Merci d’avoir apporté cette coupe, merci de nous avoir rendus fiers, merci d’avoir mouillé le maillot, merci d’avoir été unis », a-t-il lancé. Avant d’ajouter : « N’oubliez jamais d’où vous venez. » Et de désigner les responsables des « clubs qui vous ont formés » et « les parents qui n’ont pas compté leur temps ». « C’est ça la France ! », a-t-il conclu.

Le Monde.fr avec AFP et Reuters

منبع مطلب : https://www.lemonde.fr/mondial-2018/video/2018/07/16/les-bleus-accueillis-a-l-elysee-par-emmanuel-macron_5332409_5193650.html

Iran wants to take US to international court over re-imposed sanctions

By bringing the case to the court, Iran hopes to “hold the US accountable” for its “unlawful” return to the sanctions policy, the nation’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday. “Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of the US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations. It’s imperative to counter its habit of violating international law.”

Under the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed by Iran, the US, China, Russia and the EU, Tehran was drastically reducing its uranium stockpile and the number of centrifuges in exchange for the lifting of West-backed sanctions. Iran’s fulfillment of the commitments under the deal was confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Despite the atomic watchdog’s verdict, earlier this year Trump chose to unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA. He blasted the deal as “defective at its core” and cited deep distrust towards Iran as reasons for scrapping the existing framework. Trump’s move met heavy criticism from the EU, as well as Beijing and Moscow, all of whom decided to stick to the deal even with the US leaving.

Over the course of several months, Iranian officials have been warning that the country can quickly return to the pre-JCPOA reality and start producing weapons-grade enriched uranium. Nevertheless, foreign affairs chief Zarif praised the ‘nuclear deal’ on Saturday, saying it remains the “triumph of multilateral diplomacy despite the US actions.”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the UN’s judicial body tasked with resolving disputes between sovereign nations. The court sits at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Iran had a separate case against the US lodged to the ICJ in 2016. It concerns Iran’s foreign assets, frozen by the West as part of the sanctions regime. Tehran’s complaint was sparked by the US Supreme Court which ruled in favor of transferring seized Iranian money to around 1,000 survivors and relatives of the victims of the ‘80s and the ‘90s terror attacks against the US citizens abroad. Washington blames Iran for sponsoring the attacks. The court’s hearing of the case will commence in October.

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Group pledging $5mn to defeat Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination funded by Soros – report

The new advocacy group Demand Justice is behind the website stopkavanaugh.com, which refers to Trump’s Supreme Court pick as being “anti-healthcare,”“anti-abortion,” and “Trump’s rubber stamp.” 

“If confirmed, Brett Kavanaugh will serve on the court for life, shaping the future of our country long after Trump is out of office,” the website reads.

The group, which is run by former Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer aide Brian Fallon – Hillary Clinton’s former campaign press secretary – has vowed to spend $5 million on the effort to stop Kavanaugh from being confirmed, with part of that money going towards ads aimed at pressuring moderate Republicans, according to AP. 

The group is financed and administratively supported by the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which collected some $2.2 million in contributions from Soros’ Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) from 2012 to 2016, according to the Daily Caller. 

Soros is no stranger to action opposing the president, with many anti-Trump protests in the US organized by groups sponsored by the billionaire. One of those groups is MoveOn.org, which has been an organizing force behind many of those demonstrations.

In addition to Fallon, the ranks of Demand Justice include other Clinton campaign alums, while former Obama aide Christopher Kang serves as chief counsel for the group.

Trump nominated Kavanaugh, 53, as Supreme Court justice on July 9, calling him a man with “impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications, and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law.” The president’s decision is extremely important for both sides of the aisle, as Supreme Court justices remain in their positions until death or until they decide to retire.

Although the court would remain at a 5-4 conservative majority if Kavanaugh is confirmed, his appointment could still tip it to the right, which is a major a concern for liberals. This is because Justice Anthony Kennedy – who he would be replacing – sometimes sided with liberal justices when it came to rulings on social issues like abortion and gay rights, and it remains unknown how Kavanaugh will tilt when it comes to such topics.

Democrats were outraged at Trump’s conservative pick, worrying that the decision would lead to an overturning of rulings on abortion and same-sex marriage, as well as an easing of gun restrictions and protection of Trump against the threat of indictment.

Demand Justice isn’t the only party trying to block Kavanaugh’s nomination. Following Trump’s announcement, the group Indivisible launched a campaign known as #savescotus, in which it deployed activists to show up at the district offices of senators to demand they oppose Kavanaugh in the upcoming Senate vote. And just hours after Kavanaugh was announced as Trump’s choice, hundreds of liberal activists gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court for a rally organized by dozens of left-leaning groups.

On the other side of the coin is the conservative advocacy group Judicial Crisis Network, which reserved more than two dozen internet domain names – one for each candidate on Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court picks – before the president’s announcement, in a push to help whoever he chose to get confirmed. It has pledged to spend $1.4 million in television advertisements supporting Kavanaugh.

Officials within the Trump administration are pushing for hearings and a confirmation vote by October 1, in time for the court’s new term. Republicans have 51 seats in the Senate, but Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has already accused Kavanaugh of not being qualified for the job, indicating that she wouldn’t vote for his confirmation. In addition to this, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who is battling brain cancer, has been absent from Washington all year for health reasons. If he remains in his seat but is unable to turn up and vote, this could present another curve ball for Republicans, who could ultimately find themselves relying on Democrats in order to see Kavanaugh confirmed as Supreme Court justice.

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‘The king will always remain king’: Mbappe’s tribute to fellow teen World Cup Final goalscorer Pele

Kylian Mbappe signaled himself as one of the best young talents of his generation at Russia 2018, becoming just the second teenager to score a World Cup Final goal in the tournament’s history.

Noting the young French player’s accomplishment, Brazil legend Pele said on Sunday that he “may have to dust off his boots again” in response to 19-year-old Mbappe’s World Cup contribution, which included France’s fourth goal in their 4-2 victory against Croatia in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.

READ MORE: Macron hosts French World Cup winners at Elysee Palace (VIDEO)

In doing so, the PSG forward became the first teenage goalscorer in a World Cup Final since a 17-year-old Pele scored a brace in Brazil’s 1958 World Cup Final win against Sweden 60 years ago.

Mbappe, along with the rest of France’s victorious squad, returned to Paris on Monday, where they were greeted by thousands of fans as part of a victory parade in the French capital.

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‘Was he from Pussy Riot?’ Lavrov jokes about demonstrator removed from Trump-Putin press conference

Minutes before the two leaders were due to speak, footage circulated around the world of a man holding up an A4-sized placard that read “Nuclear test ban treaty” being forcibly removed from the auditorium where the summit Q&A was due to take place.

READ MORE: Pussy Riot say they staged four-person pitch invasion during World Cup final

Understandably, the Russian foreign minister was somewhat miffed.

“Was he from Pussy Riot?” joked Lavrov, who is also at the talks, when told of the incident.

In fact, the victim of what appeared to be more of an inept than a vicious removal, was identified as Sam Husseini, an op-ed writer for US progressive publication The Nation (though a search through their archives show only one published article penned by him).

Other journalists later revealed that Husseini was handing out an open letter, calling for the US “to ease tensions between the nuclear super powers” which are “on a collision course” to avoid a “thermonuclear exchange.”

Husseini was first escorted out by security for arguing with other journalists and being disruptive; then he returned, holding up his sign, which appeared to be drawn with a marker pen, at which point he was dragged out, despite resisting.

The Nation acknowledged that it had applied for accreditation for Husseini, who works for the Institute for Public Accuracy, a Washington think tank, and called the video of his removal “troubling.”

Meanwhile, four members of activist collective Pussy Riot have been charged with violating sports spectator laws and unauthorized wearing of police uniforms for their Sunday stunt, and will likely face a fine.

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From ‘disgusting’ to ‘treason’: Mainstream US media horrified by Trump-Putin summit

“You have been watching one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader that I have ever seen,” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper declared at the end of the joint press conference.

“Trump declines to side with US intelligence over Putin” blared a CNN chyron a little while later, as anchor Wolf Blitzer somberly declared the “Russians must be high-fiving each other” following the summit.

CNN has been openly confrontational with Trump since before his inauguration and the president has called them “fake news” on more than one occasion – most recently during his visit to the UK.

The network’s White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny was appalled that, instead of confronting Putin publicly, Trump brought up the Democratic National Committee servers – which the FBI never inspected – as well as servers of House Democrats managed by Imran Awan, a Pakistani national who was recently convicted of wire fraud.

The mere fact that the summit happened in the first place was a “political victory for the Kremlin,” added senior international correspondent Matthew Chance. “Russians must be toasting Trump with champagne right now, I imagine.”

Russia’s “invasion” of Crimea, the shooting down of the MH17 passenger jet, the “novichok” poisoning in Salisbury – all the favorite talking points the US politicians and media have used to attack Russia since 2014, without offering any proof – “none of it matters now,” Chance lamented.

MSNBC let the former CIA director, now contributor, John Brennan set the tone of the debate, with a tweet declaring Trump’s behavior at the press conference “nothing short of treasonous.”

 AP correspondent Jonathan Lemire, who had asked Trump to denounce Putin at the press conference, told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle that the president bringing up the DNC servers instead was “an attack on [Special Counsel] Robert Mueller.”

Putin admitted he’d wanted Trump to win the presidency and Trump castigated the FBI instead of Russia, New York Times correspondent Peter Baker chimed in.

Republicans have traditionally been more suspicious and skeptical of Russia than Democrats but, in light of the summit, they now either have to oppose the president of their party or accept that “President Putin is really running the show,” Baker argued.

Trump and Putin “essentially parroted each other’s talking points,” said former CIA officer Ned Price, who dubbed as “delusional” those Republicans who thought Trump would raise the issue of elections-meddling, even though “we know in minute detail” the names and methods of the conspirators that “attacked our democracy in 2016.”

Evelyn Farkas, the former State Department official in charge of Russia during the Obama administration, declared it “despicable” that Trump was siding “against democracy,” reminding viewers she’s descended from Hungarian immigrants who fled a Soviet crackdown in 1956.

“We have to defend Langley, we have to defend the US,” Farkas added.

Earlier, MSNBC had interviewed Michael McFaul, the former US ambassador to Russia.

Even Fox News, accused by Democrats of being a propaganda network for Trump, had several anchors blasting the president.

Neil Cavuto of Fox Business thought it was “disgusting” that Trump did not use the press conference to publicly accuse Putin of interfering in the 2016 election.

“I’m sorry, it’s the only way I feel. It’s not a right or left thing to me, it’s just wrong,” Cavuto said. “A US president on foreign soil talking to our biggest enemy, or adversary, or competitor … is essentially letting the guy get away with this. That sets us back a lot.”

Brett Baier, who hosts Special Report, wondered how exactly the summit might improve US interests and brought up the Republican lawmakers who were putting out statements against the summit, such as Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) and Jeff Flake (R-Arizona).

Fox anchors were also puzzled by Putin’s offer to interrogate suspects in the presence of Mueller’s investigators, as long as the US would allow Russian prosecutors to question Americans suspected by Russia of crimes, as outlined in a treaty going back to 1999.

“What we did hear was this kind of moral equivalence when it comes to meddling,” Baier said, adding Trump standing in a foreign country next to a leader who “clearly attacked the US” and saying such things is going to “ruffle a lot of feathers.”

As to what the summit may have produced in terms of nuclear disarmament, peace in the Korean Peninsula, resolving the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, or ratcheting down tensions in Europe… no one in the US media seemed interested in asking.

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Russian gun activist arrested as ‘foreign agent’, lawyer calls it misuse of law

Butina, 29, was arrested on Sunday and jailed pending a hearing scheduled on Wednesday, the DOJ said in a statement on Monday. She was charged with “conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General.”

Charges against Butina are “simply a misuse of the Foreign Agent statute, which is designed to punish covert propaganda, not open and public networking by foreign students,” Butina’s attorney Robert Driscoll said in a statement.

Butina voluntarily testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee for 8 hours “months ago,” Driscoll said, and produced “thousands of documents” to the lawmakers. She also offered to testify before the office of special counsel, “which has not expressed interest,” the attorney added. Rather than take her up on the offer to cooperate, the government arrested her “without prior notice to counsel.”

The government claims that between 2015 and February 2017 Butina “worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government,” who was sanctioned by the US in April 2018. While the statement does not identify the man, he is presumed to be Aleksandr Torshin, a former Russian lawmaker and central bank official who has not held public office since 2015.

According to the indictment, Butina was “developing relationships with US persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation,” without registering with the DOJ as a foreign agent. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.

The FBI agent who signed the affidavit against Butina claims she was working to establish a back-channel between the Kremlin and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Butina has been an outspoken activist for American values –  specifically, the Second Amendment right to bear arms – in Russia, however. A 2015 poster shows her holding an automatic rifle and a handgun, pointing out that Russian laws allow rifles but ban handguns for self-defense, and asking “Where is the logic?”

News of Butina’s arrest, which was revealed just hours after the summit between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, was met with glee in US political circles obsessed with alleged “collusion” between Russia and Trump.

As for the DOJ, the statement announcing the arrest and charges was accompanied with the standard disclaimer it appears few bothered to read, with a Twitter storm over another read-headed “Russian spy” rising immediately:

“The charges in criminal complaints are merely allegations and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

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Lindsey Graham says Russian ‘spy-ball’ gift from Putin can’t be trusted

After Trump congratulated his Russian counterpart on hosting a successful World Cup, Putin presented Trump with the commemorative ball, telling him “now the ball is in your court.”

Trump tossed the ball to his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, to give to their 12-year-old son, Barron.

The gift was a welcome moment of warmth as both leaders faced a grilling from the US media over alleged Russian collusion and interference in the run-up to the 2016 US election. However, to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), the ball might hide a sinister spying device.

Seeing reds under the bed, Graham took to Twitter, ending his rant against the summit by suggesting that Trump have the ball checked for “listening devices and never allow it in the White House,” lest scary Vladimir listen in on Barron Trump talking girls and video games.

Graham has perhaps watched too many Cold War dramas, where the KGB bugged shoes, fired poison pellets from umbrellas, hid cameras in wristwatches and microfilm in coins.

Upon return to the US, the ball will almost certainly be picked apart by Q-Branch, while Graham sips a martini and celebrates another day of saving the Western world from the red menace.

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