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OFFBEAT

Apple drops ‘Jew or not Jew’ app worldwide

French anti-racism groups have dropped anti-Semitism suits against Apple after it withdrew a "Jew or not Jew" iPhone app from its online stores worldwide, the groups' lawyer said Thursday.

Apple drops 'Jew or not Jew' app worldwide
Screenshot

Groups including the French Jewish Students Union, SOS Racisme and the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Between People had brought a suit against Apple in Paris demanding it withdraw the app worldwide.

“Listed for you, thousands of Jewish personalities (through their mother), ‘half-Jewish’ (through their father), or converts,” the app’s inventor Johann Levy promised potential buyers on the French Apple Store.

Rights groups dropped their suits “after the withdrawal of the application from every country in the world, which satisfies our demand,” the groups’ lawyer Stephane Lilti said in court.

Apple France was not immediately available to comment.

“I’m satisfied that Mr Levy has belatedly repented and taken the wise decision to withdraw the application,” Lilti said, speaking for four rights groups.

Apple on September 14th withdrew the app from its French online shop after an outcry from rights groups, which demanded the California-based computer giant also drop the app from its other stores.

On October 18th Apple withdrew the app from all its online stores in Europe, but the app, listing 3,500 Jewish personalities, was still available elsewhere in the world.

The International League Against Racism and anti-Semitism (LICRA) has also dropped its demand that Apple uninstall the app from all devices where it has already been installed.

“Where is the anti-Semitism in this case?,” Apple’s lawyer, Catherine Muyl, said during a hearing for the LICRA case on November 17, insisting that “this is not a discrimination case.”

“When Johann Levy conceived his application, he was worried that it would be perceived as too ‘pro-Jewish’,” Muyl explained.

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OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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