Philippe Monguillot, 59, a husband and father of three children, was left brain-dead in the southwestern town of Bayonne on July 5 following an attack what officials called “barbaric,” prompted by the bus driver asking four passengers to wear a face mask while attempting to check a persons bus ticket.
The bus drivers family made the decision to switch off his life support on Friday, news agency Agence France-Presse reported.
“We decided to let him go. The doctors were in favor and we were as well,” the victims 18-year-old daughter, Marie Monguillot, told AFP.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the incident “touches us in the heart” and those involved will be punished for this “abject crime,” he wrote on Twitter shortly after his passing.
“The death of Philippe Monguillot, cowardly assaulted Sunday in Bayonne for having accomplished his work, touches us in the heart,” Castex said. “The Republic recognizes in him an exemplary citizen and will not forget him.”
One man connected to the incident was taken into custody at the scene on July 5 shortly after police arrived, while the four others fled the scene. Police detained the other suspects the following day at an apartment in Bayonne, and some were already known to authorities, according to multiple reports.
Prosecutors have charged two of the suspects with attempted murder; the other two men have been charged with non-assistance to a person in danger, and one has also been charged with attempting to hide a suspect, the local prosecutors office said, according to AFP.
One of the detained individuals was a minor and has since been released.
The mayor of Bayonne, Jean-René Etchegaray, said the attack was “barbaric” and officials will work toward improving the safety of bus transportation. The mayor of Anglet, Claude Olive, said, “Philippe was a wonderful person who should have been protected.”
The dispute started after Monguillot tried to check a passengers ticket, a French prosecutor said during a press conference earlier this week, the Daily Mail reported.
The passenger had joined three other men who had previously mounted the bus without any face coverings. The men refused to follow the mask requirement and Monguillot told them to get off the bus if they didnt want to wear masks.
Face coverings are mandatory on public transport in France, where the death toll from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus has claimed over 30,000 lives.
“There were insults and then shoving. The bus driver was pushed out of the bus,” the prosecutor said. Two of the suspects then allegedly punched and kicked Monguillot.
The suspects “violently kicked and punched the upper part of his body, including his head,” the prosecutor said, according to AFP.
Following the brutal attack, some of the men ran away and hid in one of the mens apartment. The two suspects charged with attempted murder are reportedly aged in their early twenties and had previous police records.
Monguillot was honored on Wednesday by about 6,000 people who expressed their grief and took to the streets in a “white march,” French media reported.
Dozens of Palestinians injured in police clashes as Jewish extremists chanting ‘Death to Arabs’ march in Jerusalem
Clashes between Palestinians from east Jerusalem and Israeli police around the Damascus gate entrance to the Old City erupted in a night of unrest that earlier saw Jewish extremists marching through another city street shouting “Death to Arabs.”
Spain drafts new foreign policy that incorporates gender perspective
The Spanish government has updated its guidelines for international relations. A draft of the 2021-2024 Foreign Action Strategy, which the Cabinet is planning to send to parliament on Tuesday, discusses the “opportunity” to improve relations with the United States now that Joe Biden is the new US president. It also emphasizes the need for “a feminist foreign policy” and “humanitarian diplomacy.”
This document will replace the previous foreign policy strategy drafted in 2015. Although it only represents the government’s opinion, other sources were consulted – including regional, provincial and local authorities, and national agencies such as the Council of State, the government’s top advisory body.
The 100-page text draws a somber picture of a fractured global scenario where the concept of multilateralism is in crisis. “We live in an increasingly volatile and fragmented world that tends to generate two opposing trends: an outward force of disunity marked by the rise of populisms and exclusionary nationalisms, and an inward force with inclusive answers to global challenges,” reads the document.
In this context, Spain hopes to gain added relevance in the international arena with a policy based on “reformed and reinforced multilateralism.” The strategy, drafted in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, holds that the health crisis has accelerated processes that were already underway, but that it is still too soon to know whether we are immersed in “an era of change or in a change of era.”
The following are some of the main points:
United States. The Biden administration “opens up a more optimistic scenario” and “an opportunity that has to be taken.” Spain wants “a broader agenda for bilateral relations in the economic and trade spheres,” and will seek to get “unfair unilateral trade measures lifted,” alluding to tariffs on olive oil and wine. The existing cooperation on defense issues should be maintained, and the Cervantes Institute will open a new branch in Los Angeles, adding to the ones in New York, Chicago and New Mexico.
Europe. Spain will encourage “a more federal European Union” with greater strategic autonomy, competence over more policy areas, and more matters that may be approved through qualified majorities rather than unanimous votes. Spain will play an active role in the Conference on the Future of Europe, which will address necessary reforms for the EU, and encourage the integration process when it holds the six-month rotating EU presidency in the second half of 2023. The document calls for the consolidation of permanent tools of joint debt issue and for Europe to create its own resources, as well as for a harmonized tax system that ends competition within the EU. The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU is described as “a great opportunity for Spain to take on greater leadership towards a more global Europe.”
Feminism. Spain will approve a Feminist Foreign Policy Strategy to incorporate gender issues “in all areas of foreign action” and it will “lead by example” by encouraging a greater presence of women in Spain’s external activities. Women currently represent 28% of diplomats and 20% of mission heads. Spain will also lead initiatives to promote diversity, “particularly LGTBI rights and the rights of all communities that are underprivileged or discriminated against.”
Latin America. Spain will encourage relations between the EU and Latin America and support the completion of an agreement with the Mercosur trade bloc. The king and queen will visit Chile to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the first documented circumnavigation of the globe. Several Central American countries, as well as Peru and Mexico, are also celebrating the bicentennial of their independence. The latter country is also observing the controversial 500th anniversary of Hernán Cortés’ conquest, and Spain will work towards “a constructive dialogue about the celebration of historical milestones.” In Venezuela, “the priority will be restoring the democratic framework and providing support for overcoming the political and humanitarian crisis.” As for Cuba, the country is “updating its political and economic model” and Spain must stimulate this process “through critical yet constructive support.”
Immigration. Spain supports a European System of Immigration and Asylum guided by the principles of solidarity and equally shared responsibility. It wants to see “integral management of borders,” a zero-tolerance policy against smuggling rings, and the creation of “safe, regular and orderly migration channels.”
Health. Spain will support the European Commission’s efforts to create the foundations for “a European health union,” as well as the reform and reinforcement of multilateral global institutions such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
United Nations. Spain will apply to sit on the UN Human Rights Council for the 2025-2027 period. The technological platform for the UN system in Quart de Poblet (Valencia) will be consolidated and expanded.
China. Spain will seek “more balanced relations” with China, especially on economic issues, avoiding “dynamics of confrontation.” It will encourage a strategic relationship through the EU, without ignoring “clear elements of rivalry in terms of values and interests” especially on human rights issues and unfair competition.
Development aid. The document maintains a commitment to earmark 0.5% of Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP) to development aid. A new law on international cooperation for sustainable development will be passed, and the Spanish International Cooperation Agency will undergo reform.
Climate. Spain wants to lead agreements on climate change with a “climate diplomacy.” It will encourage an international coalition on green hydrogen (hydrogen production from water) and will commit to the protection of biodiversity.
Western Sahara. Spain’s priority with regard to its former colony is to “contribute to the UN’s efforts to reach a political solution to the conflicts in the region in accordance with international parameters.”
Gibraltar. Gibraltar is only mentioned in reference to the recent agreement of December 31 laying out the groundwork to incorporate the British Overseas Territory into the Schengen space. Spain will “encourage the negotiation process for an agreement between the EU and the UK with regard to Gibraltar.”
Ukraine nursing home fire: Four arrested after Kharkiv blaze leaves 15 dead
Ukrainian authorities have arrested four people in connection with a deadly fire at a retirement home in Kharkiv.
15 people were killed after a blaze ripped through the nursing home on Thursday afternoon in the eastern Ukrainian city, according to emergency services.
Nine others were rescued, five of whom have been taken to hospital for treatment.
Pictures from the scene showed blackened rooms and barred windows on the upper floor of the two-storey building, which had been converted into a home for the elderly. 50 firefighters attended the incident to extinguish the flames.
In a statement on Facebook, the country’s attorney general, Iryna Venediktova, said four people have been arrested.
The suspects include those who owned and rented the building, as well as the manager of the retirement home. Authorities say they are investigating if the fire was started by arson or the short circuit of an electrical appliance.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the centre in Kharkiv and has announced a national day of mourning for Saturday.
In an earlier tweet, the President called on local authorities to do “everything possible” to help victims and relatives who had lost loved ones.
Australia2 years ago
Button and Diane Powellpark the school bus after three decades
Australia2 years ago
Button and Diane Powellpark the school bus after three decades
Tech10 months ago
Search engine startup asks users to be the customer, not the product
Europe5 months ago
Covid: Flights shut down as EU discusses UK virus threat
Health5 months ago
Spain ‘to register’ those who refuse to have Covid-19 vaccine
Europe3 months ago
Post-Brexit trade: Is red tape chaos just ‘teething trouble’ as the UK government argues?
Australia4 months ago
Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection
Arts3 years ago
How a chain-link mosque at the Vancouver Biennale became a community hub