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PARIS (Reuters) - Police on Sunday scoured the background of a Chechnya-born Frenchman who killed a man in a knife attack in Paris, questioning the parents and a friend of the 21-year old, who had been flagged previously as a potential security risk.

Late on Saturday, the assailant shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) as he began his stabbing rampage. He fatally knifed a 29-year-old man and wounded four others, among them a Chinese and a Luxembourg citizen, before police shot him dead.

A judicial source named the attacker as Khamzat A, without giving his full name, which BFM TV and other French media said was Azimov.

The attack took place in the bustling Opera district, known for its many restaurants, cafes and the Palais Garnier opera.

It was the latest in a succession of attacks in France since January 2015 in which more than 240 people have died.

The attacker had since 2016 been on a counter-terrorism watchlist of suspected radicals who may be a threat to national security, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said.

The stabbing exposed once again the difficulty European intelligence services face keeping track of suspected extremists and countering the threat posed by homegrown militants and foreign jihadists.

PARIS, May 4, 2018 (News Wires) — Kristen Stewart, Ralph Fiennes and Margot Robbie all craned their necks up in awe.

A creaking, 330-foot (100-meter) cruise liner — with steaming funnels and gangplanks — was something Chanel's celebrity guests never imagined they'd see moored on the dry land of the French capital, let alone inside the city's Grand Palais.

It was the decor for Chanel's annual Cruise collection Thursday night in Paris in which designer Karl Lagerfeld created a spectacle worthy of a James Cameron movie set.

The show saw the larger-than-life 84-year-old continue to defy expectations in fashion show spending — after earlier shows produced a recreated Eiffel Tower, a space rocket, a supermarket and a forest.

"The bar has been set very high ... The set design in itself blew me away," said Robbie.

"It's amazing, but it doesn't surprise me. This is Karl's genius and imagination," said model Lily-Rose Depp. "Everything is just so realistic — down to the light that looks like water, and the smoke and the stars."

The ship took two months to create with an exterior in plywood and a hull made of myriad steel. The gargantuan vessel — named "La Pausa" after house founder Coco Chanel's Southern French villa — was brought to life by lighting mimicking lapping ocean waves and the sound of cawing sea gulls.

The sea theme infused the clothes and was an apt choice for the mid-season show.

Cruise or "resort" shows — shown by only a handful of the world's fashion houses — were originally conceived to target wealthy women who travelled on cruise ships in the winter. Nowadays, they're used as a lucrative means of re-stimulating fashions in the mid-season lull.

Chanel's show was all about the nautical stripe.

Chic baggy pants opened the show, sporting optical black and white lines.

The motif was based on the razzle dazzle designs painted on U.S. and British warships from World War I to camouflage them from German U-Boats. The stripes appeared down layered sleeves on two-piece skirts and in technicolor across white sporty dresses.

Styles from the Sixties also were a key element in the relaxed 87-piece collection. White berets met sexy exposed midriffs, miniskirts and loose white sweaters that were cut with a retro bateau collar. Mary Janes — one-strap shoes — were also given a cool reworking in silver and white, and some had rubber soles.

Robbie — whose star is rising since her recent Academy Award nomination for "I, Tonya" and who has recently been named a Chanel brand ambassador — used this trip to Paris to learn more about the Parisian couture house.

"First, I went to the archives and really got to understand the brand on a whole new level and understand really learn about Coco Chanel's story, and how it influenced her designs," she said.

Stewart came to the Paris show en route to this month's Cannes Film Festival in southern France where she will serve as one of its jury members.

"Cannes is a place that values the reason why people make movies that aligns with the reason that I do," said the 28-year-old "Twilight" star. "I feel like a little kid walking into something I'm not allowed."

The ship, which conjured up images of the French Riviera, also bowled Stewart over.

"Their shows are always like walking into a very elaborate dream," she said.

RUSSELS, April 23, 2018 (AP) -- A Brussels court on Monday found 2015 Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and an accomplice guilty of attempted murder over shots fired at police they sought to avoid arrest in a Brussels suburb.

The court handed both Abdeslam and Sofiane Ayari the maximum 20 year sentence.

It said the "terror character" was clearly established in the March 2016 shooting, four months after the Paris attacks that killed 130.

Court president Luc Hennart said the two chose not to attend the reading of the verdict and sentencing. Abdeslam attended the opening day of the trial in February but has refused to co-operate since. He is being held in a prison in northern France.

It is unclear when he will face trial over the Paris attacks.

The conclusion of the case at Brussels' ornate palace of justice took place amid tight security set up by the armed forces and police.

Abdeslam was close to being arrested in a hideout when he and Ayari fled while another man sprayed gunfire at police and was killed. Three officers were wounded.

Three days later, Abdeslam was captured in Brussels. Four days after that, extremists struck in the Belgian capital, killing 32 people in bomb attacks at the airport and on the subway system.

BENGHAZI, Libya, April 14, 2018 (Reuters) - Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar is being treated in Paris after feeling unwell during a foreign tour and is expected to return to Libya within days, a spokesman said.

"Marshall Haftar felt ill while in Paris, during a visit to several foreign states, and he will return to the homeland soon ... after medical treatment," Ahmed al-Mismari, a spokesman for Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), told Reuters.

Mismari's twitter feed also posted messages in English and French saying that Haftar had undergone "normal checkups", and that he would return to Libya "within a few days to continue the fight against terrorism".

The previous tweet on the feed, posted late on Tuesday as reports started spreading that Haftar had suffered a health scare, had said that all such news was false and that Haftar was in "excellent health" and commanding his troops.

The reports sparked a flurry of rumours about Haftar's condition. Anonymous Libyan and French sources said earlier this week that Haftar was in Paris for treatment.

Haftar, 75, is the dominant figure in eastern Libya and has long been seen as a likely contender for power nationally.

On Friday, U.N. Libya envoy Ghassan Salame and several Libyan officials said they had spoken to Haftar by phone.

PARIS, April 10, 2018 (AFP) — The skeletons of an allosaurus and a diplodocus are up for auction in Paris this week, marketed as hip interior design objects — for those with big enough living rooms.

“The fossil market is no longer just for scientists,” said Iacopo Briano of Binoche et Giquello, the auction house that is putting the two dinosaurs under the hammer tomorrow.

“Dinosaurs have become cool, trendy — real objects of decoration, like paintings,” the Italian expert told AFP, citing Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicolas Cage as fans of such outsize prehistoric ornaments.

Cage, however, did hand back the rare skull of a tyrannosaurus bataar, a close cousin of T. rex, that he bought in 2007 after it was found to have been stolen and illegally taken out of Mongolia.

Dinosaur bones are increasingly gracing collectors’ cabinets, with another huge skeleton, that of a theropod, expected to fetch up to €1.5 million when it goes up for auction in June.

 “For the last two or three years the Chinese have become interested in palaeontology and have been looking for big specimens of dinosaurs found on their soil, for their museums or even for individuals,” Briano said.

The new buyers are now bidding against multinational corporations as well as ultra-rich Europeans and Americans, the “traditional” buyers of dinosaur skeletons, Briano added.

In 1997, McDonald’s and Walt Disney were among donors stumping up $8.36 million to buy Sue — the most complete and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever found — for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

“Millions of people come to see it, it is incredible publicity for companies,” said Eric Mickeler, a natural history expert for the Aguttes auction house.

Palaeontologists acknowledge that many fossils that go on the block are of limited scientific interest, but important specimens do go up for auction and can, as in Sue’s case, be bought through acts of patronage.

The market remains small and “isn’t for everybody”, Mickeler said.

Only around five dinosaurs are put up for auction around the world every year.

The allosaurus which goes on sale tomorrow (On Wednesday), among 87 lots of natural artefacts, is considered “small” at 3.8 metres long.

It is expected to fetch up to €650,000, while the diplodocus — despite being bigger at 12 metres long from nose to tail — has a guide price of €450,000 to €500,000.

 

CAIRO, April 8, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's Ambassador in Paris Ehab Badawi attended on Saturday the Easter Mass at Virgin Mary and Angel Raphael Coptic Church in Paris.

The service was led by Anba Marc, the Bishop on the Diocese of Paris and northern France.

The ambassador delivered President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's greetings to the Coptic community in France on the occasion. Sisi wished them success and Egypt constant glory and superiority.

Badawi in a speech before the gathering hailed achievements that have been made in Egypt in recent years including unprecedented increase in foreign exchange reserves and mega national projects in all fields.

But he said that Egypt still faces several challenges that require more collaboration from Egyptians inside and outside Egypt.

In a related context, Patron of the Egyptian Coptic Church in Kuwait Anba Bishoy Bigol has praised relations between Egypt and Kuwait.

"Egypt and Kuwait are not only one hand, but also one body represented by the spirit of brotherhood and friendship between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah," he told MENA in exclusive remarks. 

He made the statements on the sidelines of a Mass held to celebrate the Easter in the Arab country's capital.

Anba Bishoy deeply thanked President Sisi for his keenness on greeting the Egyptian Coptic communities abroad on the occasion.

He congratulated the president on winning the recent presidential election, hailing the high turnout of Egyptian expats in the polls.

"All members of the Coptic church were keen on voting to support the Egyptian state in light of challenges it face," he said.

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