Paris Hub

Gay Australian Envoy to France Offers Resignation After PM Tony Abbott Snubs His Partner


Stephen Brady, Australia's ambassador to France, offered his resignation this week after Prime Minister Tony Abbott sent advance instructions that Brady's partner of 32 years should wait in the car rather than join Brady to greet the PM on the airport tarmac in Paris, the Sydney Morning Herald reports:

According to multiple sources, the ambassador, Stephen Brady, was on the airport tarmac with his partner of 32 years, Peter Stephens, waiting to meet the incoming plane around 7pm Paris time.

The prime minister's travelling party sent an instruction that Mr Stephens should not take part in the greeting but should wait in the car. It is understood that no explanation was given.

The ambassador, a career diplomat and formerly the official secretary to two governors-general, refused the instruction.

Abbott's office has denied there was any controversy at the airport, AFP adds:

According to the Herald's sources, Brady was “literally screaming” at the protocol officer who passed on the request. Brady reportedly refused, took Stephens along to meet Abbott and later offered his resignation to the foreign affairs department, but it was rejected, the report said.

A spokesman for Abbott told AFP “the prime minister was very happy to have been met by ambassador Brady and his partner when he arrived in Paris”.

The SMH adds:

One theory doing the rounds on Tuesday night was that it was simply a matter of protocol. Mr Abbott was not accompanied by his wife Margie and therefore it was not protocol for Mr Brady's partner to be present.

Mr Brady, a career diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs, was said to be furious with the request for his partner to wait in the car. He was, according to sources in Paris, "literally screaming" at the protocol person.

Watch a report on the incident from 9 News Australia, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Australian Envoy to France Offers Resignation After PM Tony Abbott Snubs His Partner " »

Mayor Of Paris Announces Plans To Sue Fox News: VIDEO


Between giving bigot Bill Donohue a platform to spout his hatred and glibly comparing a fight for LGBT rights to the abominable attack on Charlie Hebdo, Fox News has done anything but handle political discussion around Paris, France with the objective professionalism one would expect from a station that dares call itself a "news" source. In fact, their coverage has reached such an offensive point that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced plans to sue the media giant.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour broke the news over Twitter:

BREAKING: Paris is going to sue @FoxNews after image of Paris was “insulted” and “prejudiced,” Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo tells me.

— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) January 20, 2015

And Hidalgo further expressed her disdain to her followers:

Je suis bien sûr choquée par la bêtise stigmatisante de Fox News : @BilldeBlasio et moi irons d'ailleurs dans le 19e cet après-midi

— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) January 20, 2015

Which roughly translates as: "I am of course shocked at the stigmatizing stupidity of Fox News. Bill DeBlasio and I will be at the 19th [District] this afternoon."

You can watch an interview between Amanpour and Hidalgo on CNN Money AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mayor Of Paris Announces Plans To Sue Fox News: VIDEO" »

Thousands Break Into John Lennon's 'Imagine' At Paris Unity Rally: WATCH


At a unity rally in Paris held to show national solidarity in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in France, thousands burst into singing John Lennon's "Imagine", Mashable reports:

[Redditor] ilHGG, who claims to live near the location of the march, wrote on Reddit that he or she played music, "especially peace songs," from his or her window, so passersby participating in the march could hear.

The poster of the video on YouTube commented,

"As no one could advance, my neighbor opened her windows and started to play classic tunes, to the delight of the audience. A great moment."

The rally in Paris combine with those held across France drew crowds of 3.7 million people, according to CNN.

Meanwhile, President Obama came under criticism for not attending the rally which saw a broad swath of world leaders in attendance including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. As The Washington Post reports, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest commented, “I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile." The U.S. was represented at the rally by Ambassador to France Jane Hartley. 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) said of the President's absence, 

“I understand that when the president travels, he brings with him a security and communications package which is intense. And I understand you drop that into the middle of something like this, it could be disruptive,” Rubio said. “There’s a plethora of people they could have sent. I think in hindsight I hope that they would have done it differently.”

For his part, Secretary of State John Kerry called the hullabaloo surrounding the President's absence, "quibbling a little bit." 

In Paris, however, President Obama's absence was hardly felt, with many dubious of the presence of foreign leaders to begin with:

“I consider these heads of state to be taking part in my march,” said Thierry, a 56-year-old painter, who declined to give his last name because of fears of terrorism. “I’m not taking part in theirs.”

Watch the video of the attendees singing "Imagine", AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Thousands Break Into John Lennon's 'Imagine' At Paris Unity Rally: WATCH" »

World Leaders Gather in France for Massive 'Unity Rally' In Response to Terrorist Attacks: VIDEO


World leaders joined hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of Paris today in a "unity rally" in response to the terrorist spree that has taken place across France over the past week. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, British PM David Cameron, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and others were in attendance. 

The U.S. was represented by the Jane Hartley, the ambassador to France. 

CNN reports:

French President Francois Hollande was joined by other heads of state and dignitaries -- several who linked arms.

At the very front of the march was Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith.

French officials announced "exceptional measures" to protect not only the throngs expected to gather near the Place de la Republique in central Paris, but also a veritable who's who of foreign leaders -- a test of the security forces of a nation rocked by days of terrorist violence.

Watch live footage of the rally as well as video of the world leaders marching together, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "World Leaders Gather in France for Massive 'Unity Rally' In Response to Terrorist Attacks: VIDEO" »

Fox News Erick Erickson Calls LGBT Community 'Terrorists,' In Firing Of Anti-Gay Atlanta Fire Chief

Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 2.30.51 PM

Fox News contributor and radio talk show host Erick Erickson boldly declared "the terrorists won in Atlanta," just hours after Paris' horrific terrorist attack, blaming the LGBT community for the firing of Atlanta's anti-gay Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran reports Media Matters For America

Right-wing media falsely claimed that Cochran was fired because of his religious beliefs and anti-gay remarks in a book he wrote. On Jan. 6, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed debunked those claims and said that Cochran was fired because the chief displayed a lack of judgment in distributing the book to his employees, and disregarded instructions regarding his month-long suspension over publishing the book without notice to the city is what led to his termination.

On Jan. 7, just hours after the horrific attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that left 12 people dead, Erickson wrote an opportunistic blog post likening the LGBT community to terrorists for objecting to the former fire chief's book stating, "The terrorists won." 

An excerpt from Erickson's post reads:

"A publisher published something that offended. It mocked, it offended, and it showed the fallacy of a religion. It angered.

"So the terrorists decided they needed to publicly destroy and ruin the publisher in a way that would not only make that destruction a public spectacle, but do it so spectacularly that others would think twice before publishing or saying anything similar.

"The terrorist wants to sow fear. The destruction of an individual is not just meant to be a tool of vengeance, but a tool of instruction. It shows others what will happen to them if they dare do the same. It is generates self-regulating peer pressure. Others, fearing the fall out, will being to self-police and self-regulate. They will silence others on behalf of the terrorists. Out of fear, they will drive the ideas from the public square and society will make them off limits.


"So they demanded the Mayor of Atlanta fire the Chief of the Fire Department for daring to write that his first duty was to "glory God" and that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage was a sin.

"And the terrorists won in Atlanta."

Dual Hostage Dramas Unfold As Police Close in On Suspected Charlie Hebdo Gunmen: VIDEO


UPDATE: Cherif and Said Kouachi, the suspects in the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, have been killed in by security forces, Otis Mayor Bernard Corneille said. 

The New York Times reports:

French police on Friday killed the two brothers suspected of murdering 12 people at a Paris newspaper on Wednesday and freed his hostage unharmed, the authorities said. The police launched a simultaneous raid on a kosher supermarket in Paris where an alleged associate of the brothers was holding an unnamed number of hostages. At least some of hostages escaped unharmed, according to the police.

More here. Originial story below. 

France is once again on high alert this morning as two standoffs with gunmen are underway in and around Paris. CNN reports that authorities have not said if and how the situations are related, but one involves the two brothers wanted in the Charlie Hebdo massacre that claimed the lives of 12 people (10 journalists and two police officers) Wednesday. 

The Washington Post reports:

KouachiIn Dammartin-en-Goele, about 25 miles northeast of Paris, thousands of antiterrorism forces encircled a commercial building, where the armed pair suspected in the newspaper massacre was holed up with at least one hostage.

The standoff unfolded with authorities mobilizing commando-style units capable of storming the single-story printing business.

But negotiators also reached out to the brothers, who are believed armed and possibly preparing for a last-stand siege.

Reunters reports on the second hostage crisis:

A police source said several people were taken hostage at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris after a shootout involving a man armed with two guns.

The source said he bore a resemblance to the gunman suspected of killing a policewoman in a separate shooting in southern Paris on Thursday and believed to be a member of the same jihadist group, Butte Chaumont, as the two Hebdo suspects.

Police released pictures of a 32-year-old man, Amedy Coulibaly, and a 26-year-old woman, Hayat Boumeddiene, wanted in connection with the southern Paris incident.

CNN adds that French President Francoise Hollande held a crisis meeting Friday afternoon with senior Cabinet members at the Elysee palace in Paris.

Watch Sky News' live coverage of the developing story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Dual Hostage Dramas Unfold As Police Close in On Suspected Charlie Hebdo Gunmen: VIDEO" »


Towleroad - Blogged