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Macron's approval rating plummets - poll

Emmanuel Macron
© Pierre Suu / Getty ImagesPresident of France Emmanuel Macron speaks during a news conference on June 12, 2024 in Paris, France.
President Emmanuel Macron's approval rating has fallen to its lowest level in years, French business daily Les Echos reported on Thursday, citing opinion poll results. The survey was carried out after Macron dissolved the national parliament and called a snap vote following his party's defeat in the European Parliament elections.

The poll, conducted for Les Echos by French research firm Elabe, found that Macron's approval rating has reached a low not seen during the start of his second five-year term in May 2022, the publication noted. Approval for the president suffered a drop of five points, falling to 24%.

Macron's rating was only lower, at 23%, during the 'Yellow Vest' crisis in December 2018, Les Echos added. Named after the safety vests worn by protesters, the movement was triggered by Macron's green tax on fuel and led to months of demonstrations and riots around France.

Comment: Macron's really done nothing to recommend him to the people so it comes as no surprise that his numbers reflect this sad state of French affairs. See also:


American men shunning the US Army - media

US Army recruits, army, recruits, soldiers, US soldiers
© Getty Images / Scott OlsonFILE PHOTO: US Army recruits arrive for basic training in September 2022 at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina.
American men have reportedly lost interest in military service as they increasingly withdraw from society more broadly, driving the persistent shortfalls in US Army recruiting and raising the nation's reliance on female troops.

Male enlistment has plunged by 35% in the past decade, dropping from around 58,000 in 2013 to 37,700 last year, reported on Friday, citing US Army recruiting data. At the same time, female enlistment has held steady at around 10,000 recruits each year.

Declines in the number of men who are willing to sign up for military service have left the Army unable to meet its recruiting quotas. The largest US military branch fell short of its targets for new troops by about 10,000 enlistments last year and by 15,000 in 2022. Other branches have had similar shortfalls. The Army reduced its enlistment target by 10,000 troops this year, aiming for 55,000.

Comment: Men aren't motivated to participate in a society that not only hates them but also doesn't have a long term future. Who'da thunk it?


Russia formally charges WSJ journalist with spying for CIA

Evan Gershkovich
© Sputnik / Ilya PitalevFILE PHOTO: Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.
Russia's prosecutor general has accused Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich of attempting to obtain military secrets for the CIA, it was announced on Thursday.

Investigators claimed in a statement that they have evidence proving the US citizen was acting on behalf of the foreign intelligence agency when he tried to collect classified information about Uralvagonzavod, a major Russian producer of tanks and armored vehicles, in Ekaterinburg in March 2023.

The case, which was compiled based on materials provided by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), has been sent for trial at a court in the Urals region of Sverdlovsk, it added.

The court has jurisdiction as Uralvagonzavod is located in the region and the alleged crimes were committed on its soil.

Comment: See also:
Russia extends WSJ reporter's detention until August
WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich arrested in Russia over spying claims

Star of David

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in possible Hamas minefield as fighting continues in Rafah

Nuseirat refugee camp idf bombing
© REUTERS/Ramadan AbedNuseirat refugee camp, June 15, 2024.
Eight Israeli soldiers were killed in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, the military said, as forces continued to push in and around the southern city of Rafah and strikes hit several areas of Gaza, killing at least 19 Palestinians.

The soldiers, all members of a combat engineering unit, were in an armoured carrier that was hit by an explosion that detonated engineering materials being carried on the vehicle, apparently in contravention of standard practice, the military said. It said the early morning incident, in the Tel al-Sultan area in the west of Rafah, was being investigated.

The armed wing of the Palestinian militant group Hamas said the vehicle had been trapped in a prepared minefield that set off the explosion.

Comment: Notice the special attention given to the event, while the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians not a week ago was brushed over.

Israeli troops disguised themselves as Palestinians during hostage rescue operation - ABC

Bad Guys

France arrests Iranian music maestro for anti-genocide posts

Bashir Biazar
FILE: Bashir Biazar was summoned and detained by French police last Tuesday.
An Iranian official and cultural expert has criticized the French government's arrest of Iranian music maestro and cultural figure Bashir Biazar for speaking out against the war on Gaza, saying his detention under shadowy circumstances exposes France's double standards on freedom of expression.

Biazar, a former production manager at the Music and Song Department of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), was summoned and detained by French police last Tuesday. He has been vocal in his support for the Palestinian cause and in highlighting Israeli crimes in Gaza through social media.

His social media content has consistently focused on cultural issues related to the Islamic world and the Palestinian cause, which the French authorities now seem to be using as a pretext for his arrest and potential deportation.

Comment: France is becoming notorious for its draconian crackdown on anti-genocide protesters and figureheads; Al Jazeera reported just a week ago:
Woman detained by French police over Palestinian scarf

Watch the moment police detained and fined a woman wearing a traditional Palestinian scarf known as a keffiyeh, accusing her of being part of an illegal protest in Lyon.
Jan 2024: Algerian footballer for France's Nice club convicted over Gaza post

And this isn't the first time people have been targeted for their anti-genocide views. CNN reported back in October 2023:
France bans all pro-Palestinian protests

The ban had been announced earlier in the day, according to a message sent by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin to the country's police, citing concerns about public order.

"Pro-Palestinian demonstrations must be prohibited because they are likely to generate disturbances to the public order," said the minister. He added that any organization of such protests will lead to arrests.

Another protester described the ban as a "great injustice" and told Reuters that he had been fined 135 euros (roughly $140) for wearing the keffiyeh, a traditional Palestinian scarf.


Hochul considering a face mask ban on New York City subways, citing antisemitic acts

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul
Mayor Eric Adams voiced his support and made a comparison between people wearing masks to "hide their faces" and the Ku Klux Klan

Gov. Kathy Hochul suggested banning face masks across New York's public transit system during a public safety briefing this week due to concerns about people shielding their identities while committing antisemitic acts.

It's also during a week where huge portions of the state are under an air quality alert and NY sees its largest COVID spike in recent months. The move, she says, will help deter crime on public transit.

At a sweeping press conference on public safety, Hochul started by addressing two recent incidents that have targeted Jewish New Yorkers. The governor pointed to a Tuesday vandalism at the home of the Brooklyn Museum's director, and a reported train incident the night prior where "a group donning masks took over a subway car, scaring rider and chanting things about Hitler and wiping out Jews."

Comment: Hochul's scheme is unworkable:
Hochul mentioned several reasons people might wear face coverings, like religious practices, protection from COVID or the flu, delivery drivers battling the elements, cultural events and Halloween.

Emily Alexander, a full-time nanny who works in New York City and frequents the subway system nearly every day, expressed concern to Fox News Digital over how such a ban could be implemented amid Hochul's "laundry list" of exceptions.

"It's frightening what I see sometimes during my commute, and there is a reason this is being talked about right now," said Alexander. "I would certainly support a no-mask law, but how is it going to be possible when the governor and nearly every other lawmaker in the state will provide those health and religious exemptions?"

"People won't be surprised when everyone starts changing their religion or claiming health-related statuses just so they can bully, threaten or belittle others," she added. "That'll be the new norm that'll then have to be worked out. It's all likely to fail."

Another resident in the city who uses the city's subway system from Wednesday to Saturday each week told Fox News Digital that he's not too thrilled about the idea because he doesn't believe "anything will come of it."

"I really don't think anything will come of it," said the 47-year-old Brooklyn resident, who wished to speak anonymously. "I really don't think there's anything that could really stop these people. They are a different kind of evil. They'll just say they need masks to prevent themselves from getting Covid, which we know is an excuse. How does anyone tell them they can't wear them?"

"You certainly have to say, 'There are major exemptions,'" Hochul said Thursday while fielding questions about the potential mask ban.

Hochul's office did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for information on how the governor plans to navigate who uses masks with good intentions from those who are using them to "evade" punishment for criminal wrongdoing.
She is pandering to the local chapter of the Lobby, who wish to squelch legitimate protests against the genocidal country they represent.


Lia Thomas barred from Olympics: Transgender case thrown out after US swimmer ruled ineligible

lia Thomas transgender swimmer
© USA Today/Brett DavisLia Thomas has lost her battle against new World Athletics' rules
Lia Thomas, the swimmer who became the first transgender winner of an American collegiate title, has had her case against new World Aquatics rules dismissed by the Court Of Arbitration of Sport.

World Aquatics banned transgender swimmers from the elite female category if they had undergone any part of male puberty following Thomas's NCAA win in 2022, an intervention which ended Thomas's hopes of ever competing in women's swimming events at the Olympics.

Thomas responded by lodging a legal challenge with Cas in September of last year, arguing that the rules were "invalid and unlawful" because they were discriminatory and contrary to the Olympic Charter and European Convention of Human Rights.

Cas, however, has dismissed the case after concluding that the rules applied only to World Aquatics elite events or world records, and otherwise had "no impact" on athletes.

Snakes in Suits

Banana company Chiquita found liable for sending money to a Colombian paramilitary group

© Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images
A jury in Florida on Monday found Chiquita Brands International, one of the world's largest banana companies, liable for making payments that funded a paramilitary group in Colombia.

A lawsuit, which was brought to the federal court in the Southern District of Florida, said the banana company should be held responsible for the murders of eight individuals by the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States, and was known for its violence in the South American country. It was disbanded in 2006, according to CNN.

The jury in the civil case ordered Chiquita to pay the families a total of $38.3 million. The verdict comes after the company pleaded guilty in 2007 to making over 100 payments to the AUC that equaled more than $1.7 million, but a source told the Justice Department that the payments were made under the threat of violence.


Ghana to delay more cocoa deliveries as supply crisis worsens

cocoa beans
© REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko
The world's second largest cocoa producer Ghana is looking to delay delivery of up to 350,000 tons of beans to next season due to poor crops, five sources told Reuters in a further worsening of the outlook for the global chocolate industry.

Chocolate makers around the world are raising prices for consumers after cocoa more than doubled in value this year alone following a third year of poor harvests in Ghana and Ivory Coast, responsible for 60% of global production.

The market had previously estimated Ghana would roll forward some 250,000 metric tons of cocoa, equivalent to about half its current crop. Cocobod, Ghana's cocoa regulator, said the country was looking to roll over "some volumes, but not in those (350,000 ton) quantities".

The country's cocoa crop has been ravaged by adverse weather, bean disease and illegal gold mining, which often displaces cocoa farms.

Red Flag

Soaring coffee prices force Folgers' owner to increase supermarket prices

Arabica and robusta coffee bean prices have been soaring this year due to supply crunches hitting some of the world's top bean producers. It was only a matter of time before higher bean prices impacted major US food brands, forcing them to announce imminent price hikes at the supermarket.

Let's start with our recent coverage of the global coffee market: In markets, Arabic futures in New York have surged, but the robusta prices on the ICE exchange are skyrocketing the most.