Charlie Hebdo and the sieges of Paris 

Days after the murders performed at the satirical cartoon magazine headquarters, the killings continue in France.

On the 7th of January the news story that two gunmen had attacked and murdered 12 members of staff from the Charlie Hebdo building became massively viral. Without live TV and access to regular news, word travelled swiftly about the dreadful events that had taken place in Paris.

The aftermath from the shootings at the Charlie Hebdo office.

If you have a look at any large news source at the moment you will see claims that the two gunmen are believed to be Islamic extremists; their names Said and Cherif Kouachi. The Kouachi brothers. What a great villain duo. Evidence such as Said’s ID card, was found in the getaway car which was abandoned after the shooting. This was used to lead the French police into investigation.

The world was quick to respond to the massacre: the people of France came together in the open squares, such as the Place Royale in Nantes as shown in the feature image, to display a form of solidarity and respect to those that had been killed. Social networking sites sprung with images and writing in support of the victims and united against the suspected men. The saying “JeSuisCharlie”, or “IAmCharlie”, is still trending strongly on Twitter.

An example image of protest.

Days after the main events at Charlie Hebdo the police continued their search for the Kouachi brothers, leading them into the rural areas surrounding Paris. French special forces, armed with black tactical gear and automatic rifles initiated searches door to door of every house they came across in the hopes of finding the terrorists. I may be called out for calling them terrorists, but that is what they are. They committed an act of terror, murdering 12 innocent people, therefore they are terrorists.

French special forces make door to door searches for the Kouachi brothers.

Sadly, as of today, two more people have been killed in a French siege believed to be taking place at a supermarket in Dammartin-en-Goele, North-East of Paris. The police are at a standoff with the suspected Kouachi brothers in a hostage situation. It appears that we may be coming close to the final act of this terrorist plot, or so we hope.

The events from the past days have shown us two things: that some humans can be unnecessarily violent and cruel, and that the rest of us can unite against these pointless acts made by lesser men and create solidarity. I believe that these men will see justice in the coming hours, or the coming days, and that their actions will of course leave us with something to mourn for many years, but most importantly we must remember that they didn’t get what they wanted.

Charlie Hebdo will continue to print its weekly satirical magazine and with the support of the government and Google it will release 1 million copies of its next edition. Take that extremists.


Alexander Jones

Rita Ora’s cleavage is not a problem 

So, it seems a lot of the press has been discussing Rita Ora’s choice of outfit for her interview and promotion of The Voice on BBC’s primetime The One Show.

Complaints piled up regarding Rita Ora’s cleavage being exposed on a family programme before the official watershed had begun.

People made outcries such as “Is Rita Ora’s outfit really suitable for this time of evening?” one message read. “Thankfully my 7-year-old boy is elsewhere. Come on BBC, make the woman put a vest on.”

Another message complained: “I don’t want to see her boobs hanging out on a family programme. I find it quite disgraceful.”

Is there really any need for this sort of censorship? In my honest opinion I don’t think so. There has been a number of times where celebrities have chosen to wear revealing outfits on TV, so why pick on Rita Ora? 

I’m not a fanboy of Rita Ora in any way, but I am a fan of anti-sexism. 

This whole situation has been blown out of proportion by the small majority of people that have found this pop stars taste in fashion “disgraceful”. 

It seems like a very old-fashioned complaint to ridicule a woman’s sense of dress for displaying too much cleavage. It’s not even like its out of place for Rita Ora to wear very little as shown in this photo: 

It’s not like she’s revealing any form of nudity, just a bit of skin, which I find to be sexually empowering for women. 

I know my opinion may be disregarded because I’m a man, but I have studied texts during my course that go into detail about sexism and female inequality and I truly believe that there is nothing wrong with what Rita Ora wore last night. 

Accompanied by Will.I.Am, Tom Jones and Ricky Wilson, the frontman of rock band Kaiser Chiefs, Rita Ora will be taking the place of former judge Kylie Minogue. 

On a final note, an official BBC spokesperson stated that the One Show “allows guests to choose their own attire and pop stars often opt for something glamorous or striking”. 

For a great blog by a fellow Cardiff student have a look at Vicky Chandler’s take:

Alexander Jones