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CRIME

Father drugged family before shooting

The four children of a man from Nantes suspected of murdering his entire family were likely drugged with sleeping pills before they were shot dead, a prosecutor said Monday.

Traces of sleeping pills were found in the children’s blood, likely used to “facilitate” their execution-style murder, said a statement issued by Nantes prosecutor Xavier Ronsin after drug tests were conducted on the victims.

French authorities have issued an arrest warrant for 50-year-old businessman Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes after the bodies of his wife and children, aged 13 to 20, were dug up in the garden of their family home in the western city of Nantes in Brittany.

Autopsies showed the victims had been “methodically” shot with a .22 calibre firearm similar to one that Dupont de Ligonnes had used in shooting practice at a Nantes rifle club.

Wife Agnes 49, daughter Anne, 16, and three sons were apparently shot several times in the head while asleep, around April 3 or 4.

Dupont de Ligonnes was last seen on April 15 when he left a budget hotel at Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the Var region on France’s Mediterranean coast, abandoning one of the family cars in the car park.

Police have received about 500 witness accounts, but none has led to any clue of the man’s whereabouts, Ronsin said in the statement.

CRIME

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

France is set to announce new measures this week to prevent youngsters from accessing porn websites, in the latest round of a years-long struggle to protect children from explicit material.

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

“I plan to put an end to this scandal,” Digital Affairs Minister Jean-Noel Barrot told the Parisien newspaper on Monday.

France’s data protection and media regulators Cnil and Arcom are set to announce their latest proposals to rein in porn websites which are in theory subject to a 2020 law requiring age verification.

Previous attempts have been held up by privacy and technical concerns, as well as court action by the websites.

To its frustration last September, a Paris court ordered Arcom to enter into mediation with several porn websites including market leader Pornhub, holding up efforts to block them.

READ MORE: France hits Google and Facebook with huge fines over ‘cookies’

Under the new proposal, people wanting to access explicit material will need to download a phone application that provides them with a digital certificate and code, the Parisien reported.

The code will be needed to access a porn website under a system “which will work a bit like the checks from your bank when you buy something online,” Barrot told the newspaper.

“2023 will mark the end of our children accessing pornographic sites,” he added.

President Emmanuel Macron, who is married to former school teacher Brigitte Macron, promised to make protecting children from porn a priority during his bid for re-election last year.

In November, he launched the Children Online Protection Laboratory, an initiative that aims to bring together industry giants and researchers to look for ways to shield minors online.

In September last year, a report entitled “Hell Behind the Scenes” by French senators concluded that there was “massive, ordinary and toxic” viewing of porn by children.

The report found that two thirds of children aged 15 or less had seen pornographic content.

The French production industry has been roiled by a series of sexual assault cases in recent years in which women have come forward to allege rape, mistreatment and manipulation by directors and fellow actors.

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