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Two French international rugby players, Hugo Auradou, 20, and Oscar Jegou, 21, have been charged with the aggravated rape of a 39-year-old woman in Argentina, following a match against Argentina. Prosecutors in Argentina announced the charges, with the incident allegedly occurring after France’s victory on Saturday. The woman claims that the players raped and assaulted her multiple times in a hotel room in Mendoza.

Auradou and Jegou, who opted not to testify at a hearing, assert that the encounter was consensual and deny the rape accusations. They will remain in custody as the investigation continues.

The incident reportedly took place at the Diplomatic Hotel, where the French team was staying during their South American tour. According to the woman’s lawyer, she left a nightclub with one of the men and went to his hotel room, where she alleges she was raped six times by one man and once by the other. The woman described suffering severe violence, including injuries to her face, back, breasts, legs, and ribs, along with bite and scratch marks. She also stated that she was held against her will for several hours and made multiple escape attempts. She sought hospital treatment on Thursday due to the emotional and physical impact of the incident.

The players’ lawyer, German Hnatow, expressed confidence in their innocence, stating they are calm but concerned about the situation. Another lawyer, Mariano Cuneo Libarona, indicated that there are witnesses and camera footage showing the woman leaving the hotel without visible injuries. The French Rugby Federation president, Florian Gill, also noted that the players have a different version of events and emphasized the need for a swift investigation by the Argentine justice system.

Auradou and Jegou have been replaced by Mickael Guillard and Judicael Cancoriet for the upcoming match against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

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French authorities have arrested a 26-year-old man of Russian-Ukrainian descent on suspicion of attempting to manufacture explosives and planning a violent act. The suspect sustained severe burns in an explosion on Tuesday in a hotel room in Roissy-en-France, near Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport.

The National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office reported that investigators discovered bomb-making materials and equipment in the hotel room. Additionally, firearms and counterfeit passports were found, as reported by French media.

Anti-terror prosecutors have launched an investigation and are collaborating with France’s domestic intelligence agency, according to a source from the Reuters news agency.

The suspect, identified as a Russian-speaker from the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, currently occupied by Russia, is being questioned in the hospital following his treatment and subsequent arrest.

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French intelligence officials believe Russia orchestrated a stunt involving five coffins draped in French flags, labeled “French soldiers of Ukraine,” placed near the Eiffel Tower. Three men, seen arriving in a van on Saturday morning, left the coffins, which contained plaster sacks. Police quickly apprehended the driver, a Bulgarian who claimed he was paid €40 by two others to transport the coffins. These two, a Ukrainian and a German, were later caught at Bercy coach station while attempting to board a bus to Berlin. They admitted to being paid €400 to deposit the coffins. All three were presented before a judge on Sunday as a judicial investigation began for “violence with premeditation.”

This incident is being investigated to determine if it was orchestrated from abroad, recalling two recent events where French police suspect Russian involvement. In October, Stars of David resembling the Israeli flag were stenciled in Paris after a Hamas attack on Israel. A Moldovan couple, believed to have been paid by Russian intelligence, was arrested. Last month, red hands were painted on a Holocaust memorial in Paris, with suspects fleeing abroad. One individual involved in the coffins incident had contact with a Bulgarian suspect linked to the red-hands affair, identified as Georgi F. by Le Monde.

Tensions between France and Russia have risen, partly due to President Emmanuel Macron’s stance on potentially sending French soldiers to Ukraine. Recently, discussions about sending French military instructors to Ukraine have intensified, which investigators think might have prompted Russian intelligence to stage the coffins stunt to demonstrate opposition to deeper French involvement in the Ukraine war. Previous incidents included teams with photographers whose images appeared on Russian propaganda websites.

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Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has been relocated from a hospital in Banska Bystrica, situated in the heart of the country, to Bratislava, the nation’s capital, to continue his recovery journey. This decision comes in the aftermath of a shooting incident that left him with severe injuries, occurring two weeks prior.

The 59-year-old politician was targeted in Handlova on May 15, where he was shot four times at close range while engaging with supporters following a government meeting. Enduring multiple surgical procedures, Fico’s health status prompted the decision for further care and observation.

Details regarding Fico’s current whereabouts remain undisclosed, as it is unclear whether he has been discharged to his residence in Bratislava or transferred to another medical facility for ongoing treatment. The shift in his condition has attracted significant media attention both domestically and internationally.

Fico’s political tenure spans over a decade, during which he has held the prime ministerial position for a substantial portion of the past 18 years. His return to power in September, leading a coalition characterized by populist-nationalist ideologies, marked a significant chapter in Slovakian politics.

The shooting incident has exacerbated existing tensions within Slovakia, a nation grappling with increasing polarization in its political landscape. The attack has served to deepen societal divisions and raise concerns about the stability of the country’s governance.

The alleged perpetrator, identified by local media as 71-year-old Juraj Cintula, has been apprehended and is currently in custody, facing charges of attempted murder. The ongoing investigation seeks to shed light on the motives behind the attack and its potential ramifications for Slovakian society and its political future.

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Czech President Petr Pavel has been hospitalized following a motorcycle accident, with his office reassuring the public that the injuries are not severe, necessitating only a short observation period. The incident occurred on a closed racing circuit, leading authorities to abstain from launching an investigation. Despite the accident, President Pavel’s love for motorcycles is well-known, particularly his fondness for riding a BMW R1200 GS.

President Pavel’s enthusiasm for motorbikes has occasionally landed him in controversy. Last year, he publicly apologized after being caught riding without a helmet. Nonetheless, his passion for biking remains undeterred, with the president often seen enjoying rides, even to neighboring countries like Germany. Pavel’s commitment to strengthening diplomatic ties, combined with his love for motorcycles, has made headlines throughout his tenure.

This recent accident marks another addition to President Pavel’s list of extra-curricular mishaps. Just last April, he sustained a minor injury while practicing shooting at a range. Despite these incidents, President Pavel continues to engage actively in both official duties and personal interests, illustrating a dynamic and multifaceted leadership style.

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A man has been apprehended on suspicion of plotting an attack on the Olympic torch relay in Bordeaux, as announced by French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. While details remain limited, Darmanin commended the police for ensuring security during Thursday’s relay event.

Authorities disclosed that the suspect had written a troubling message that potentially glorified criminal acts, including a reference to a past mass shooting in the US. The Olympic flame, having recently arrived in Marseille, is en route to Paris for the Games scheduled to commence on July 26th. Paris 2024 organizers have underscored an extensive security operation, notably for the opening ceremony involving over 10,000 athletes transported along the River Seine.

Upon detecting an online message referencing a decade-old mass killing in Isla Vista, California, an investigation was launched by Bordeaux prosecutor Frédérique Porterie. The post connected to the suspect’s profile alluded to Elliot Rodger, the perpetrator of the Isla Vista attack, who harbored animosity towards women and became a figure of inspiration for some online communities, notably those identifying as “involuntarily celibate” or incels.

The suspect, identified as Alex G, was subsequently arrested, with authorities finding a rubber pellet revolver, multiple mobile phones, and a computer during a search of his residence. Although he lacked a criminal record, initial inquiries revealed his interest in the Incel movement. While in custody, he admitted to contemplating an unspecified act, without mentioning targeting the Olympic flame relay. Described as psychologically fragile, the suspect’s intentions appeared undefined.

The Olympic flame embarks on a lengthy journey spanning 12,000km (7,500 miles) across mainland France and its overseas territories. Given security concerns, anti-drone experts are collaborating with law enforcement to monitor its progress. However, recent unrest in New Caledonia has led organizers to cancel the flame’s scheduled visit to the Pacific territory.

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French police have killed a man after a synagogue was set on fire in Rouen, a city in north-western France. The man, armed with a knife and a metallic tool, was shot after he threatened officers, as confirmed by the Rouen prosecutor.

Rouen Mayor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol expressed that the attack not only affected the Jewish community but left the entire city “battered and in shock.” French reports identified the suspect as an Algerian who was appealing against an expulsion order from France.

The incident occurred around 06:45 (04:45 GMT) when smoke was seen rising from the synagogue. The attacker used a petrol bomb to ignite the synagogue. Police officers quickly arrived on the scene after the suspect was spotted on security cameras. The suspect, who was on the roof of the synagogue, threatened the officers and threw a chisel at them before descending and brandishing a knife. One officer then fired five shots, hitting the suspect four times, according to Rouen public prosecutor Frédéric Teillet.

Firefighters managed to control the fire, but significant damage was reported inside the synagogue. Natacha Benhaïm, head of Rouen’s Jewish community, described the damage as catastrophic, though the Torah books remained unharmed.

Investigations are underway into the arson attack and the use of a police weapon. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin commended the police for their prompt and brave response. The suspect, a 29-year-old Algerian, carried no identification at the time of the attack.

This incident follows a rise in antisemitism in France since Hamas’ attack on southern Israel in October, leading to the current war in Gaza. Recent antisemitic acts include defacing a Paris memorial honoring those who rescued Jews during World War Two. President Emmanuel Macron condemned the defacement, emphasizing the importance of remembering France’s heroes and Holocaust victims.

France, home to the third largest Jewish community globally, has seen various attacks on places of worship, including the fatal stabbing of a priest during a church service eight years ago. The recent violence in Rouen also comes shortly after an ambush that resulted in the deaths of two prison officers south of the city.

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Hazel Behan, a woman who claims to have been raped by the man suspected of Madeleine McCann’s murder, gave chilling testimony in court. She recounted feeling an indescribable fear when awakened by a masked intruder. Christian Brückner, the prime suspect, denies involvement in both cases. The trial in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, focuses on unrelated sex offense charges against Brückner, alleged to have occurred in Portugal between 2000 and 2017.

Behan, a former holiday rep in Praia de Rocha, vividly described the night of the assault in June 2004. She walked home alone after an argument with her boyfriend and was attacked in her apartment. The assailant, dressed entirely in black and armed with a knife, subjected her to a prolonged ordeal, including rape and filming parts of the assault. Behan endured physical and emotional trauma, and despite years passing, she still suffers from panic attacks and requires medication.

The trial also highlighted Behan’s disappointment with the Portuguese police’s handling of her case. She recalled feeling neglected and mistreated during the investigation. Years later, upon seeing Brückner’s photo in a news article, Behan recognized him and decided to come forward, linking her assault to his previous convictions.

Behan emphasized the profound impact the attack had on her life, stating that she no longer feels like the carefree person she was before. Brückner’s defense team maintains skepticism about the case’s foundation and is challenging the charges.

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Five workers tragically lost their lives in an accident at a sewage treatment plant near Palermo in Sicily. Another worker was found unconscious and rushed to the hospital. This incident adds to a concerning trend of workplace fatalities across Italy, sparking outrage among workers and trade unions.

The workers were discovered unconscious and without masks, raising serious questions about safety protocols at the Casteldaccia facility. It’s believed they succumbed to toxic gas poisoning, with one worker narrowly escaping to raise the alarm.

Giovanni D’Aleo, one of the workers, recounted hearing his colleagues’ cries for help but being unable to save them. The men were working in an underground tank accessible only by a small hatch at street level. The toxic gas concentration at the time of the accident was reportedly ten times higher than the danger limit.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find seven workers inside. They retrieved the bodies of the deceased and rescued one worker in critical condition, while another was found unharmed.

As of now, there has been no official statement from AMAP, the regional group responsible for wastewater treatment in the area.

This tragedy comes shortly after an explosion at a hydroelectric plant near Bologna claimed the lives of seven workers during maintenance work.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni emphasized the need for a thorough investigation into the incident, while President Sergio Mattarella stressed the importance of clarity regarding the accident’s circumstances. The incident underscores the urgent necessity for a collective effort among all stakeholders—entrepreneurs, institutions, and society—to ensure workplace safety.

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Archaeologists recently made a significant discovery at the Wolf’s Lair, a former Nazi military base located in Gierloz, northeastern Poland. During a dig prompted by the unearthing of a fragment of human skull on February 24, they uncovered five human skeletons missing hands and feet.

The Latebra Foundation, a historical organization based in Gdansk, confirmed that the remains belonged to three adults, a teenager, and a newborn. These bodies were found near a house once occupied by Nazi commander Hermann Göring, a prominent figure in World War II history.

The skeletons were arranged in close proximity to each other, facing the same direction, amidst remnants of burned boards and sewage infrastructure. Despite the absence of clothing, authorities found no evident signs of trauma on the remains.

Initially mistaking the site for an old bathroom, the excavation team was surprised when they discovered ashes and a burnt key. Polish police have since launched an investigation into the discovery, with many questions still unanswered.

Further investigation, including carbon dating to determine the age of the remains, is deemed necessary by experts. The Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s Eastern Front headquarters, holds immense historical significance, having been strategically situated in the forests of northeastern Poland.

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