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International

French leader Macron decries terrorist beheading of teacher

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron denounced what he called an “Islamist terrorist attack” against a history teacher decapitated in a Paris suburb Friday, urging the nation to stand united against extremism.

The teacher had discussed caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class, authorities said. The suspected attacker was shot to death by police after Friday’s beheading.

The French anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation concerning murder with a suspected terrorist motive, the prosecutor’s office said.

Macron visited the school where the teacher worked in the town of Conflans-Saint-Honorine and met with staff after the slaying. An Associated Press reporter saw three ambulances arrive at the scene, and heavily armed police surrounding the area and police vans lining leafy nearby streets.

“One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught … the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” Macron said.

UK’s Boris Johnson threatens to impose restrictions on Manchester

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened to force the Greater Manchester region into England’s most severe level of COVID-19 restrictions after local officials refused to accept the government’s financial package to implement measures targeting areas with the highest infection rates.

Johnson says action is needed as case numbers and hospitalizations are rising rapidly. He appealed to leaders of the region’s 2.8 million people to reconsider the government’s offer — heaping pressure on Greater Manchester’s mayor, Andy Burnham.

“I cannot stress enough: time is of the essence. Each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die,” Johnson said during a news conference in London. “Of course, if agreement cannot be reached I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents. But our efforts would be so much more effective if we work together.”

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