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Pomp and pageantry across France for Bastille Day

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France commemorated its national holiday, Bastille Day, with a splendid parade in Paris, accompanied by whizzing warplanes.

However, this year’s celebrations took place under the watchful eye of over 100,000 police officers deployed across the country to prevent any recurrence of unrest in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

The festivities mark the beginning of the French Revolution on July 14, 1789, but they come in the aftermath of the nation’s most severe riots in nearly two decades. The riots erupted following the fatal police shooting of a teenager with North African heritage, highlighting deep-seated anger over inequality and racial discrimination.

Fighter jets and military helicopters soared over the location in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, where 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk was tragically killed last month. The aerial display continued towards the Arc de Triomphe, where VIP guests watched the parade. The streets were unusually calm, with local residents gathering at Nanterre’s Nelson Mandela Square to witness the flyby.

India took center stage as the guest of honor at this year’s Bastille Day parade. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined French President Emmanuel Macron in observing the event. Approximately 240 Indian troops led the march down the Champs-Elysees, followed by thousands of French forces. Additionally, French-made Indian warplanes participated in the aerial demonstration.

Bastille Day often features international partners, and the selection of India aligns with France’s objectives to enhance cooperation on combating climate change, military sales, and countering China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region. Notably absent from the extensive agenda, however, were discussions on human rights, despite concerns raised by European lawmakers, rights groups, and others.

The echoes of Russia’s war in Ukraine, which played a central role in last year’s Bastille Day celebrations, were also felt this year. The event showcased vehicles, including the Caesar anti-missile batteries that France is providing to Ukraine, while Ukrainian officials were invited to join Macron in the VIP seating area.

On the eve of the national day, Macron posthumously honored Arman Soldin, a French journalist from Agence France-Presse who was killed earlier this year in Ukraine, with the Legion of Honor award.

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Helicopter carrying Iran’s President Raisi crashes

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed on Sunday as it was crossing mountain terrain in heavy fog.

The official said the lives of Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash”, which happened on the way back from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan in Iran’s northwest.

“We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi takes off, May 19, 2024. Ali Hamed Haghdoust/IRNA/WANA via REUTERS

State TV quoted an official as saying at least one passenger and one crew member had been in contact with rescuers. It also said the helicopter had been found, though Iran’s Red Crescent denied this report.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs. #iran #trending

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Why Australia is becoming the new home of the Hollywood blockbuster

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Australia’s multimillion-dollar campaign to attract Hollywood productions to its shores appears to be paying off.

The allure of Australia lies not only in its picturesque locations but also in its competitive financial incentives.

The government offers generous rebates and tax breaks to international productions, making it an attractive proposition for filmmakers looking to maximise their budgets.

Despite the recent intake of Hollywood productions down under such as ‘The Fall Guy’ and ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’, Aussie independents are still finding the space to carve their own creative path.

Rob Fantozzi joined the program to discuss the latest in Hollywood, and showcased his own upcoming project – ‘Omerta‘. #featured

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Portal between countries shut down after international flashing

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An international video portal has been forced to shut down after an OnlyFans model reportedly flashed passersby from across the globe.

On this episode of Ahron and Mike Live – Which would you prefer; pay rise or work perks, an international portal closes, the military reveal a submarine stingray and are you on a top or bottom burger bun?

Ticker’s Ahron Young & Mike Loder discuss. #featured #trending

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