NEWS

Charlie Hebdo Poked Fun At Popes And Presidents Too, Not Just Prophets

07/01/2015 15:59 | Updated 07 January 2015

Charlie Hebdo, the French newspaper where 12 people were killed in an attack on Wednesday, has long poked fun at popes and presidents, as well as the Prophet Muhammad.

The satirical weekly has a history of drawing outrage across the Muslim world with crude cartoons of Islam's holiest figure.

The magazine's offices were firebombed in November 2011 after it published a spoof issue that "invited" Muhammad to be its guest editor and put his caricature on the cover.

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Pope Benedict XVI has featured on the newspaper's cover...

A year later, the magazine published more Muhammad drawings amid an uproar over an anti-Muslim film.

The cartoons depicted Muhammad naked and in demeaning or pornographic poses. As outraged grew, the French government defended free speech even as it rebuked Charlie Hebdo for fanning tensions.

The small-circulation weekly leans toward the left and takes pride in making acerbic commentary on world affairs through cartoons and spoof reports.

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...As has former French president Nicholas Sarkozy

"We treat the news like journalists. Some use cameras, some use computers. For us, it's a paper and pencil," the Muhammad cartoonist, who goes by the name Luz, told The Associated Press in 2012.

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"A pencil is not a weapon. It's just a means of expression."

Editor Stephane Charbonnier, among the 10 journalists killed on Wednesday, also defended the Muhammad cartoons speaking to The AP in 2012.

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Emergency crews at the scene in Paris on Wednesday

"Muhammad isn't sacred to me," said Charbonnier, who used the pen name Charb.

"I don't blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law. I don't live under Quranic law."

Islam is not alone in being singled out by Charlie Hebdo's satire.

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Two suspects were filmed leaping out of a car and pointing their weapons at a fallen policeman

Past covers include retired Pope Benedict XVI in amorous embrace with a Vatican guard; former French President Nicolas Sarkozy looking like a sick vampire; and an Orthodox Jew kissing a Nazi soldier.

The magazine occasionally publishes investigative journalism, taking aim at France's high and mighty.

Charlie Hebdo has come under pressure ever since its 2011 Muhammad issue.

Its website has been hacked. It faced a lawsuit over the prophet cartoons. Riot police once guarded its offices. Charb lived under police protection — and his body guard was killed on Wednesday along with another officer.

Paris Shooting

Charb told Le Monde newspaper two years ago: "I'd rather die standing than live on my knees."

One of his last cartoons, published in this week's issue, seemed an eerie premonition.

"Still no attacks in France," an extremist fighter says.

"Wait — we have until the end of January to present our New Year's wishes."

09/01/2015 18:03 GMT

Dammartin hostage was "hiding in cardboard box"

The hostage with the Kouachi brothers who were suspects the Paris magazine massacre was "hiding in a cardboard box" according to a French journalist - and the gunmen reportedly didn't even know he was there.

09/01/2015 17:54 GMT

Second unknown male gunman in Kosher supermarket siege may have escaped

The second gunmen from the siege at a Kosher supermarket in Paris may have escaped, according to local sources.

Suspected gunman Amedy Coulibaly is reported to have been killled, but police believe from CCTV that there was a second hostage-taker in the shop who is not yet accounted for.

Hayat Boumeddiene, the woman suspected of attacking and killing a police officer in Paris yesterday with Coulibaly, is not thought to have been to in the grocery.

09/01/2015 17:38 GMT

Cameron is joining European leaders at a Charlie Hebdo rally this weekend

09/01/2015 17:30 GMT

Police confirm four casualties in grocery store

At least four people, including the attacker, have died at a kosher grocery store in Paris where a gunman took several hostages, police officials said.

Police officers were thought to be among those hurt, although their conditions were unclear.

The Elysee Palace said President Francois Hollande will address the nation before 7pm.

The BBC reported that a woman who was held hostage while shopping in the store had told a relative by phone that there were more than two people killed there - in fact she had said there were five people dead.

09/01/2015 17:12 GMT

Hayat Boumedienne, the second suspect in Paris hostage-taking, has escaped - police union official

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Hayat Boumedienne, the second suspect in the killing of the French policewoman on Thursday, has not been killed or apprehended, according to police sources and Reuters news agency.

There was no confirmation that she was at the scene at the kosher store where her partner, or ex-partner, Amédy Coulibaly, was killed as he held more than five hostages.

09/01/2015 17:04 GMT

The aftermath of the assault in Dammartin

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Smoke rises as a special forces soldiers enter the building on an industrial estate in Dammartin en Goele

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Special Forces soldiers and armed police gather after storming the print works

09/01/2015 17:00 GMT

Reuters - Four dead in kosher supermarket siege

Tragic news coming out of eastern Paris, at least four hostages are dead in the grocery store, according to police sources.

09/01/2015 16:52 GMT

Pictures of the hostages leaving the kosher supermarket

Members of the French police special forces attend to hostages and one of their colleagues lying on the ground after they launched the assault at a kosher grocery

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09/01/2015 16:45 GMT

This is the moment police stormed the grocery store

09/01/2015 16:44 GMT

The French special forces celebrate in the Frenchest way possible

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