French Immigrant Goes Into SEAL Mode To Rescue Dangling Toddler

Analysis
Twitter/Screenshot

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.

WATCH NEXT:

Ed Mahoney/Kickstarter

In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.

The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.

A small group of veterans hopes to change that.

Read More Show Less
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Photo: US Air Force)

For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.

The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less
FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2019. Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.

The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform a fly-over as newly graduated cadets from the U. S. Air Force Academy toss their hats at the conclusion of their commencement ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 23, 2018. Shortly after the event ceremony's commencement, the Thunderbirds put on an aerial demonstration show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.

Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.

Read More Show Less