French hostage survivors sue news outlets
Hostage survivors are suing several news outlets, saying that they may have endangered lives during the Paris attacks in January. Two days after the Charlie Hebdo attacks on January 7, Amedy Coulibaly took several hostages inside a Jewish supermarket, killing four. Six of the survivors claim that live coverage of the crisis “lacked the most basic precautions,” according to Patrick Klugman, the plaintiffs’ lawyer. BFMTV had revealed live on air that several people, including children, were hiding in the cold room.
“The disclosure of the presence of people hiding, during a hostage situation, is an error which cannot go unpunished,” Klugman told Paris Match. “A piece of information, even if it is true, must not put lives in danger.” Several TV stations have also been blamed for revealing the movements of specialist police forces outside the supermarket. It is known that Coulibaly was monitoring the news, including BFM, during the attack.
Too thin models banned from catwalk in France
French MPs have passed a law banning the use of extremely thin models. As part of a larger health law, the rule says “anyone whose body mass index … is below a certain level will not be able to work as a catwalk model.” MP Olivier Veran had previously said the minimum BMI would be set at 18. The rule also contains severe penalties for agencies that force models to lose too much weight.
Yemeni president flees Aden due to Houthi rebels
One month ago, Houthi rebels advanced toward the city of Aden, where the Yemeni president fled after the government’s overthrow last fall. Eventually, the rebels started working their way into Aden, prompting daily air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition. Although forces loyal to the Yemeni president have been helped by the Saudi air strikes and weapons drops, the Houthi managed to capture much of the city, and the president has fled again, this time to Saudi Arabia. The conflict’s death toll has skyrocketed. UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said that over 500 had died and 1700 were wounded during the last two weeks.
The Red Cross says that the streets are “strewn with bodies,” calling for regular ceasefires to remove the dead, treat the wounded, and evacuate foreigners. On Friday, Russia subsequently called on the UN Security Council to impose a temporary break on the air strikes for humanitarian purposes, but members have so far offered no opinions.
The Yemeni crisis is proving to be an international problem. China sent a frigate to evacuate its citizens, the first time it has ever done so. Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim nation, suspects that the Shia Houthi are proxies of Iran. The United States is worried about Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which opposes both the Houthi and the legitimate Yemeni government. AQAP, although not currently involved in the large scale fighting, has a chance at beating the Houthis and taking control of the country.