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October 29, 2006

In France, "Youths" And/Or "Maurading Teenagers" Torch Bus, Female Passenger

She has second and third degree burns all over, including on her face, and serious lung damage. She's breathing on a respirator.

Who are these malefactors? The AP's article gives us no clue, though it does note that they're "immigrants," or, rather, "French-born children" of such. It repeatedly offers the description "young people," but that hardly helps in finding the guilty.

n scattered violence Saturday, 46 people were taken into custody, most of them in the suburbs around Paris, and two police officers were slightly injured. The most serious violence was the bus attack in Marseille, which shocked France with its brutality.

Three or four young people burst onto the bus and tossed in a bottle of flammable liquid before fleeing, police said, citing witnesses' accounts. A fire started, seriously injuring a 26-year-old woman who suffered second- and third-degree burns on her arms, legs and face.

The woman was breathing Sunday with help from a respirator, the Marseille hospital system said. Doctors were deeply worried about lung damage from smoke. Three other people also were treated for smoke inhalation, police said. The bus was destroyed, and bus service was suspended in Marseille.

President Jacques Chirac telephoned the woman's family, ensuring them that France would "do everything to find the assailants and punish them with the greatest severity," his office said.

But how on earth can he find the assailants? No one seems to know anything more about them than that they were "teenagers" of the "marauding" sort. The "marauding" descriptor is useful, but only if you actually catch them in the act of "marauding." Given that "marauders" often exhibit non-maraudish behavior in the vicinity of police, it's going to be hard to find them.

Later in the story it mentions...

The three weeks of rioting last year were fueled by anger at France's failure to offer equal chances to many minorities — especially Arabs and blacks — and France's 5 million-strong Muslim population.

But it doesn't say who was responsible for those riots, just that the riots were "fueled" by France's failure to offer "equal chances" to Arabs and blacks. (Blacks? Haitians, perhaps? Arab Druze or Christians, I wonder?)

And it certainly doesn't say who's responsible for the lastest outrage.

It's just a mystery to the AP.

Who, what, when, where, why. By the innovaation of eliminating two of the five "W's," AP has freed up its journlistic resources to spend 40% more time and energy and media big-brain genius on the remaining three.

Bravo, AP. Bravo.

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posted by Ace at 07:02 PM

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