Immigrants: always doing the low-paying jobs nobody else wants, right? Keep that in old cliché mind while watching this video:
And keep it in mind while reading this gripping lede from the New York Times about the hero you just saw springing into action as the crowd goes nuts below — not a French commando or gendarme, but a 22-year-old Malian immigrant named Mamadou Sassama:
PARIS — The 4-year-old boy seemed to be suspended from a balcony. An adult standing on a nearby balcony seemed powerless to help. Disaster seemed the only possible outcome.
Then, to the nimble rescue on the streets of Paris on Saturday evening, came a young man whom some French people have started to call the Spider-Man of the 18th, referring to the arrondissement of Paris where the episode unfolded.
With a combination of grit, agility and muscle, the man hauled himself hand over hand from one balcony to another, springing from one parapet to grasp the next one up. A crowd that had gathered before he began his daring exploit urged him ever upward, according to onlookers’ video that was shared widely on social media.
Finally, after scaling four balconies, the man reached the child and pulled him to safety. And suddenly, an act of individual courage and resourcefulness began to play into Europe’s fraught and polarized debate about outsiders, immigrants and refugees.
Sassama "journeyed through Burkina Faso, Niger and Libya before making the dangerous Mediterranean Sea crossing to Italy and arriving in France in September, without documentation," the Times explains. Which, depending on your perspective, either makes him a dirty criminal invader or a pretty compelling BUD/S candidate. Based on his work this week, I'm inclined to think the latter.
French President Emmanuel Macron apparently agrees, having met with Sassama Monday and decreed that he will be fast-tracked for French citizenship.
Macron and Sassama meet at the French presidential palace on Monday.Pool photo by Thibault Camus via NYTimes
Which is appropriate and terrific, but given France's tightening immigration rules in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, it's also kind of nuts that you have to literally save a native-born child to get your rights. But that's where humanity's at these days. To win the presidency last year, Macron had to tack hard right on immigration, blocking out the nativist candidate, Marine Le Pen. "Mass immigration is not an opportunity for France, it's a tragedy for France," Le Pen had said, vowing that in the face of "savage globalization... I will protect you."
Turns out the best protection France could have this week was a 22-year-old border-crosser.
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.