Nation and World News

Ahmed Eissa

Senior Staff Writer

aeissa2@umbc.edu

France

French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that he would not impose any new taxes in 2015. The move is seen as an attempt to boost Hollande’s popularity, as he is battling record-low approval ratings

In a live television address, the Socialist Party president also vowed to not seek re-election in 2017 if he failed to bring down unemployment, which is currently above 10 percent, by the end of his five-year presidency.

“If I don’t succeed by the end of my term, do you think I will present myself to the French in 2017?” said Hollande. “The French would be unforgiving and they would be right.”

Hollande’s administration has attempted to fight chronic unemployment and a dire economy through a combination of tax rises and curbs on public spending since he assumed office in 2012.

 

United States

On Thursday, The Washington Post announced that former Navy SEAL Robert James O’Neill confirmed to the newspaper that he was the unnamed SEAL who killed Osama Bin Laden.

O’Neill, who said that publicly disclosing his role was an enormous personal struggle, admitted that he was the first to enter bin Laden’s bedroom on the night of May 2, 2011, taking aim at the al-Qaeda leader in the darkness.

O’Neill’s decision to disclose the raid’s details comes nearly two years after another SEAL, Matt Bissonnette, published a controversial and much-criticized account of the raid in a book entitled No Easy Day. In meetings with the Post, O’Neill said that he expected similar criticism after his account.

In the months leading up to this move, O’Neill’s role as “the shooter” had spread through the military community and eventually made its way through Capitol Hill, with many members of Congress and journalists personally congratulating him.

 

Gaza

A series of small explosions targeted the homes and vehicles of officials from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party in Gaza on Friday, causing minor damage but no injuries.

The explosions come day days before a scheduled memorial ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of former Palestinian president and Fatah leader Yasser Arafat. In the past, the ceremony has led to tensions between Fatah and Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza strip.

“No one will deter us from holding the event, regardless of what explosions and terror they commit,” said senior Fatah official Abdallah Abu Samhadana.

Hamas condemned the explosions as a criminal act and ordered that the perpetrators be brought to justice. Fatah and Hamas agreed to form a unity reconciliation government in April to overcome deep political tensions which arose in 2007.