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Noisy French rooster Maurice, who was taken to court for crowing, dies aged six

IN THE PAPERS
IN THE PAPERS © FRANCE 24

IN THE PAPERS - Friday, June 19: We look at the importance of Juneteenth, a day celebrating the end of slavery in the US and why it has special importance this year. Also, ties between Germany and Russia are strained over the killing of a Georgian man of Chechen origin in Berlin last year that Germany says was a Russian state-organised assassination. Finally, Maurice the noisy rooster, who became a symbol of the French countryside, has died.

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This Friday marks Juneteenth, one of the oldest celebrations marking the end of slavery in the US. Some 155 years ago, more than 250,000 black slaves received news of their freedom in Texas. This year, it takes on special meaning in light of recent protests against police brutality. As this New York Times columnist notes, neither Abraham Lincoln nor the Republican Party were responsible for the end of slavery. The slaves freed the slaves and for him, the day is also about remembering that America's "experiment in liberty" owes as much to those who toiled in bondage as it does to anyone else. 

The editors of the Washington Post, meanwhile, note that June 19 connotes a moment when America's promise and dream of full equality seemed about to be realised, only to be postponed. Now, at another watershed moment in US history, Americans have a chance to fulfill those dreams, the Post says.

We move on to a growing diplomatic spat between Germany and Russia over the death of a Georgian man of Chechen origin last year. The man, who had fought against the Russians in Chechnya, was shot in a Berlin park last year. He'd survived multiple assassination attempts and continued receiving threats after fleeing to Germany in 2016. German prosecutors filed murder charges against a Russian man yesterday, alleging that Russian state agencies tasked him with the assassination. This and a 2015 hacking of German parliament have strained relations between the two countries. Russia, for its part, has denied involvement and threatened to react if Germany takes action. That's in the Guardian this Friday.

Finally, Maurice, a beloved noisy French rooster, has died at the age of six. Maurice became an international symbol for the divides between city and countryside when he was taken to court for his early morning crowing. Maurice won the case and was allowed to live out his life peacefully on the French island of Oléron. His owners say they've bought a new cockerel, also called Maurice, but that he will never replace the original bird!

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