TRAPPES, France — It all began when a high-school teacher warned that Islamists had taken over the city. The teacher went on TV, issuing alarms from inside what he called a “lost city” of the French Republic. In Trappes, he said, he feared for his life.
“Trappes, it’s finished,” the teacher said. “They’ve won.”
The mayor, a strong believer in the Republic, saw the teacher on television and didn’t recognize the city he described. He knew his city, west of Paris and with a growing population of immigrants and Muslims, had problems but thought it was being falsely maligned. The mayor also happened to be a Muslim.
“The truth doesn’t matter anymore,” he said.
For a few weeks this winter, the fight pitting the mayor, Ali Rabeh, 36, against the teacher, Didier Lemaire, 55, became a media storm that, beneath the noise and accusations, boiled down to a single, angry question that runs through the culture wars rippling through France: Can Islam be compatible with the principles of the French Republic?
Lupin.” But Trappes also saw about 70 of its youths leave for jihad to Syria and Iraq, the largest contingent, per capita, from any French city.
article about Mr. Lemaire, who said he was quitting because of Islamists.
Within a few hours, a conservative politician eyeing the presidency tweeted her support for Mr. Lemaire and “all those hussars on the front line in the fight for the Republic.” Next, the far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, attacked “certain elected officials” for failing to protect the teacher from Islamists.
That the words of a virtually unknown teacher resonated so much was a sign of the times. A few months earlier, an extremist had beheaded a middle-school teacher for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class on free speech. President Emmanuel Macron was now pushing a bill to fight Islamism even as he pledged to nurture an “Islam of France.”
Mr. Lemaire’s words also resonated because of the outsized role in France of public schoolteachers, who are responsible for inculcating in the young the nation’s political values and culture. In the Republic’s mythology, teachers are the “hussars” — the light cavalry once used for scouting by European armies — fighting to preserve the nation’s sanctity.
In the article, Mr. Lemaire said he had been under police escort for months. Trappes’s mayor, he said, had called him an “Islamophobe and racist.” He said he was waiting for an “exfiltration” from deep inside “a city lost for good.”
Overnight, the soft-spoken, longhaired teacher, who said he preferred curling up with Seneca than going on Facebook, was issuing dire warnings on top television news shows.
“We have six months to a year,” he said, “because all these youths who are educated with the idea that the French are their enemies, they’ll take action one day.”
Mr. Lemaire arrived in Trappes, a banlieue, or suburb, in the outer orbit of Paris, two decades earlier. Once a village that grew around a millennium-old Roman Catholic parish, Trappes is now a city of 32,000.
Mr. Lemaire’s high school, La Plaine-de-Neauphle, stands at the heart of an area built to accommodate immigrant workers from France’s former colonies in the 1970s — a mixture of rent-subsidized high-rises, attractive five-story residences and a constellation of parks. The mosque is nearby. So is a market where vendors offer delicacies from sub-Saharan Africa and halal products.
Parti républicain solidariste, which espouses a hard line on France’s version of secularism, called laïcité. He now favors taking girls away from their parents, after a second warning, if the children violate laïcité rules by putting on Muslim veils during school field trips.
“We have to protect children from this manipulation,” of being used “as soldiers or as ideologues,” he said.
‘I See Myself In Them’
remarks to the newspaper Le Monde, the local préfet, the top civil servant representing the central government, praised Mr. Rabeh’s administration for its “total cooperation” in combating Islamism. The préfet also refuted the teacher’s claim to having been under a police escort.
The teacher’s story began wobbling. He admitted to the French news media, as he did to The Times, that he had “not received explicit death threats.” He had also accused the mayor of calling him a “racist and Islamophobe” in an interview with a Dutch television network.
But the network denied the mayor had said any such thing.
‘France Really Doesn’t Like Us’
letter to the students at the teacher’s high school.
“Don’t let anybody ever tell you that you’re worth nothing and that you’re lost to the Republic,” he wrote.
debate was scheduled that evening between Ms. Le Pen and Gérald Darmanin, the interior minister leading the government’s crackdown on Islamism. Hours before the debate, he announced that the teacher would be granted police protection.
That evening, Jean-Michel Blanquer, the national education minister, issued a statement supporting the teacher. He also accused the mayor of trespassing into the high school to distribute tracts — the letter — that morning. “Political and religious neutrality is at the heart of the operation of the School of the Republic,” the minister said.
The city officials at the school that morning told The Times that no copies were distributed inside. The regional education office and Mr. Blanquer’s office refused to make the school principal available for an interview. The minister’s office declined to comment.
The trespassing accusations led to such an avalanche of threats against the mayor that he, too, was put under police protection — a shared destiny, for a while, for the two men of Trappes, who had each lost something.
The teacher was forced to leave the school where he had taught for 20 years and, despite his criticisms of Trappes, said “you really feel you’re on a mission.” He said he should have been more careful with the facts and had made “many mistakes,” but stuck by his interpretation of Trappes as “lost.”
His words, he said, had led to a “clarification of positions today in France.”
The mayor questioned the very Republic that once inspired him. He had believed that “the people who embody the Republic will come, the government will eventually express its solidarity with me.”
“Stunned,” he said, “I find that’s not the case.”
He declined his worried father’s request to resign.
“For a moment during the crisis, I told myself, well, if this is the Republic, I’m abandoning the Republic, just as it’s abandoned me,” Mr. Rabeh said. “But the truth is they’re not the Republic. The kids of Trappes are the Republic.”
President Biden and Iran’s leaders say they share a common goal: They both want to re-enter the nuclear deal that President Donald J. Trump scrapped three years ago, restoring the bargain that Iran would keep sharp limits on its production of nuclear fuel in return for a lifting of sanctions that have choked its economy.
But after five weeks of shadow boxing in Vienna hotel rooms — where the two sides pass notes through European intermediaries — it has become clear that the old deal, strictly defined, does not work for either of them anymore, at least in the long run.
The Iranians are demanding that they be allowed to keep the advanced nuclear-fuel production equipment they installed after Mr. Trump abandoned the pact, and integration with the world financial system beyond what they achieved under the 2015 agreement.
The Biden administration, for its part, says that restoring the old deal is just a steppingstone. It must be followed immediately by an agreement on limiting missiles and support of terrorism — and making it impossible for Iran to produce enough fuel for a bomb for decades. The Iranians say no way.
financial restrictions that go beyond that deal — mostly involving conducting transactions with Western banks — because it would create what one senior administration official called a “ripe circumstance for a negotiation on a follow-on agreement.”
The Iranians refuse to even discuss a larger agreement. And American officials say it is not yet clear that Iran really wants to restore the old deal, which is derided by powerful hard-liners at home.
campaign of sabotage and assassination to cripple the Iranian program — and perhaps the negotiations themselves. So it was notable that the director of the Mossad, who has led those operations, was recently ushered into the White House for a meeting with the president. After an explosion at the Natanz nuclear plant last month, Mr. Biden told aides that the timing — just as the United States was beginning to make progress on restoring the accord — was suspicious.
The split with Israel remains. In the meetings in Washington last week — which included Mr. Blinken; the C.I.A. director, William J. Burns; and the national security adviser, Jake Sullivan — Israeli officials argued that the United States was naïve to return to the old accord, which they think preserved a nascent nuclear breakout capability.
Mr. Biden’s top aides argued that three years of “maximum pressure” on Iran engineered by Mr. Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, had failed to break its government or limit its support of terrorism. In fact, it had prompted nuclear breakout.
told the BBC.
Iran wants more sanctions lifted than the United States judges consistent with the deal, while insisting on keeping more of its nuclear infrastructure — in particular advanced centrifuges — than that deal permits. Instead, Iran argues that the International Atomic Energy Agency should simply inspect the new centrifuges, a position that is unacceptable to Washington.
While the talks continue, Iran is keeping up the pressure by adding to its stockpile of highly enriched uranium and the equipment to make it, all in violation of the deal.
Both Iran and the United States are working under delicate political constraints. Even as Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has supported the Vienna talks, Mr. Rouhani and Mr. Zarif are mocked by powerful conservatives who do not trust Washington and who expect to capture the presidency.
For his part, Mr. Biden must contend with a Congress that is highly skeptical of a deal and largely sympathetic to the concerns of Israel.
increasing enrichment to just short of bomb grade in small quantities and barring international inspectors from key sites in late February — Mr. Zarif insists that these moves are easily reversible.
American intelligence officials say that while Iran has bolstered its production of nuclear material — and is probably only months from being able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for one or two bombs — even now, there is no evidence Iran is advancing on its work to fashion a warhead. “We continue to assess that Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities that we judge would be necessary to produce a nuclear device,” Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, said in a report last month.
scandal over Mr. Zarif, whose criticism of internal decision-making recently leaked, apparently in an effort to damage his reputation and any chance he had to run for the presidency.
Ayatollah Khamenei refuted the criticism without naming Mr. Zarif, but he said the comments were “a big mistake that must not be made by an official of the Islamic Republic” and “a repetition of what Iran’s enemies say.”
At the same time, by downplaying Mr. Zarif’s role, the supreme leader reaffirmed his support for the talks while also sheltering them from criticism by hard-liners, said Ellie Geranmayeh of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Steven Erlanger reported from Brussels, and David E. Sanger from Washington. Farnaz Fassihi contributed reporting from New York.
Peter Warner, an Australian seafarer whose already eventful life was made even more so in 1966 when he and his crew discovered six shipwrecked boys who had been living on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific for 15 months, died on April 13 in Ballina, New South Wales. He was 90.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Janet Warner, who said he had been swept overboard by a rogue wave while sailing near the mouth of the Richmond River, an area he had known for decades. A companion on the boat, who was also knocked into the water, pulled Mr. Warner to shore, but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
The story of the 1966 rescue, which made Mr. Warner a celebrity in Australia, began during a return sail from Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga, where he and his crew had unsuccessfully requested the right to fish in the country’s waters. Casually casting his binoculars at a nearby uninhabited island, ‘Ata, he noticed a burned patch of ground.
“I thought, that’s strange that a fire should start in the tropics on an uninhabited island,” he said in a 2020 video interview. “So we decided to investigate further.”
an interview with Vice this year. “And when I compare it to what I gained at school, I think I learned more on the island. Because I learned how to trust myself.”
Back in Tonga, Mr. Warner was greeted as a hero. King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, who had earlier denied him fishing rights, reversed himself. But the owner of the stolen boat was not in a celebratory mood, and he had the boys arrested. He dropped the charges after Mr. Warner offered to compensate him.
The story captivated Australia; a year later the Australian Broadcasting Corporation sent Mr. Warner and the boys back to the island to recreate aspects of their ordeal for a film crew. Other documentaries and newspaper features followed.
Lord of the Flies,” William Golding’s 1954 novel about a group of boys stranded on an island who descend into murderous anarchy. But this was nothing like Mr. Golding’s book: The six boys flourished in their spontaneous community, suggesting that cooperation, not conflict, is an integral feature of human nature.
“If millions of kids are required to read ‘Lord of the Flies,’ maybe they should also be required to learn this story as well,” the Dutch historian Rutger Bregman, who wrote about the episode in his book “Humankind: A Hopeful History” (2020), said in an interview.
Peter Raymond Warner was born on Feb. 22, 1931, in Melbourne, Australia, to Arthur George Warner and Ethel (Wakefield) Warner. Arthur Warner was one of the country’s wealthiest men, having built a manufacturing and media empire, and he expected his son to follow him in the family business.
But Peter was uninterested; he preferred boxing and sailing, and at 17 he ran away from home to join a ship’s crew. When he returned a year later, his father made him go to law school at the University of Melbourne.
He lasted six weeks. He ran away again, this time to sail for three years on Swedish and Norwegian ships. Quick with languages, he learned enough Swedish to pass the master mariner’s exam, allowing him to captain even the largest seagoing vessels.
a 1974 interview. He returned two days before the wedding, and afterward the couple took a five-month honeymoon aboard a cargo ship sailing between Australia and Japan.
Along with his daughter Janet, his wife survives him, as do another daughter, Carolyn Warner; a son, Peter; and seven grandchildren.
In 1965 Mr. Warner bought several crayfish boats, which he operated around Tasmania. But the grounds around Australia were overfished, and he ventured further and further east, eventually taking him to Tonga — and his encounter with ‘Ata.
After he discovered the six boys, Mr. Warner moved with his family to Tonga, where they lived for 30 years before returning to Australia. He hired all six as crew members; he remained especially close to Mr. Totau, who sailed with him for decades.
In 1974, they were fishing near the Middleton Reef, about 300 miles east of Australia, when Mr. Totau spied four sailors on a small island, where they had been stranded for 46 days.
Mr. Warner converted to the Baha’i faith in 1990 and later gave up commercial fishing to start a company that harvested and sold tree nuts.
He wrote three books of memoirs, the second of which, “Ocean of Light: 30 Years in Tonga and the Pacific” (2016), detailed his encounter at ‘Ata.
an excerpt from his book in The Guardian. It garnered more than seven million page views and set off a new round of interest in the boys’ story, including offers from film production companies. In May 2020 it was announced that the four surviving boys, now old men, along with Mr. Bregman and Mr. Warner, had sold the film rights to New Regency.
Although he was accused by some of trying to win fame off the Tongans’ story, Mr. Warner always insisted that it was theirs to tell, and that he would rather spend his time sailing.
“I’d prefer,” he said in 1974, “to fight mother nature than human beings.”
In the vast world of YouTube villains, there may be none as famous as Jake Paul.
The 24-year-old Vine star turned vlogger has polarized viewers with videos of dangerous pranks and stunts (though he continues to bring in millions of views). He is a serial entrepreneur linked to several dubious and misleading business ventures (though that hasn’t deterred investors). He has repeatedly offended and alienated his collaborators (though he keeps finding new ones). In 2020, he declared the coronavirus a “hoax.” It can often seem that he lives to provoke outrage.
Now, Mr. Paul is facing allegations of sexual misconduct from other influencers.
Yet he remains the blueprint for many social media stars today. Without him, it’s hard to imagine the current land rush of so-called “collab houses,” where young content creators film videos, throw parties and spur drama. Or the proliferation of prank videos on YouTube. Or the bad-boy archetype embodied by so many influencer-entrepreneurs born on TikTok.
At the center of these comparisons is the Team 10 house, an influencer collective and talent management agency founded by Mr. Paul in 2016. The vision: He and six other creators, aged 14 to 19, would live together and leverage their collective followings for views and cash. Everyone would benefit, but no one more than Mr. Paul.
told The New York Times in 2017.
raising capital to start a media company focused on influencers, said he could help him become much bigger.
Aaron Mitchell, AJ’s father, said he “was not very impressed with Jake” and that he didn’t want his son, who was 14 at the time, involved with Team 10. However, after extensive conversations with Mr. Paul’s parents, Greg Paul and Pam Stepnick; Mr. Paul’s assistant, Erica Costell, who was in her mid-20s; and Neels Visser, another member of Team 10, he and his wife, Allison, decided to allow AJ to join the group.
The arrangement worked like this: Each of the influencers could live in the Team 10 house (a rented mansion in the upscale Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles) for free if they agreed to produce regular content for social media (which Mr. Paul would monetize) and participate in brand deals. (Mr. Paul declined to comment on the financial arrangement he had with house residents.)
David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad, relied on pranks and practical jokes, drawing from a lineage of entertainment franchises like “Jackass” and “Punk’d” as well as the work of creators like Mr. Paul’s older brother, Logan. The people living and working in the Team 10 house served as subjects for all kinds of antics.
electrically shocked without warning and facing pressure to jump from the mansion’s roof into a pool. The videos give the impression of a rollicking frat house during rush season rather than a collaborative work environment.
Former Team 10 members told The Times that Mr. Paul once chain-sawed through a bedroom door to wake up two people in the house. One of Mr. Paul’s former assistants recalled arriving for work to find her desk had been smashed for a video. The Times sought comment from Mr. Paul on the material of the YouTube videos and the accounts of former Team 10 associates, and he declined.
sued Mr. Paul for hearing loss after the influencer blared a car horn at him; the case was later dismissed.
“When it comes down to someone having to do something to get attention, every single day you have to do crazy stuff,” Mr. Mitchell said. “If you go back and look at those videos, you see a lot of crazy stuff and you’ll see why kids are drawn into it, because it was a house full of kids doing whatever they want. Every day it was a new crazy thing, but people wanted to watch it.”
said Mr. Paul had created “living hell” for them and turned their sleepy neighborhood into “war zone.”
The following year, Ivan and Emilio Martinez, two YouTubers from Spain who had lived in the Team 10 house, spoke about their decision to leave. In a YouTube video, they said Mr. Paul bullied them, terrorized them with pranks and made racist comments mocking their background and language skills. (The two speak English as a second language.)
In a 2018 interview with the YouTuber Shane Dawson, Ms. Violet described what it was like to date and work with Mr. Paul. “He’s not a physical abuser, but mentally and emotionally, 100 percent, every day, 2,000 times a day,” she says in the video. “I can’t even remember a conversation where it was me walking away feeling good about myself.”
she shows scars to the camera. “He would just do it way too hard.”
accused Mr. Paul of sexual assault. The incident, she said, involved forced oral sex and took place at the Team 10 house in 2019.
“In a situation like that, there was nothing I could do,” Ms. Paradise said. “I was physically restricted, and I felt emotionally restricted afterwards to even say anything about it.” Three friends whom she told directly afterward about the incident corroborated her account. Ms. Paradise said she plans to file charges.
In a public statement posted to Twitter, Mr. Paul denied Ms. Paradise’s allegations, calling them “100% false.” Mr. Paul’s lawyer Daniel E. Gardenswartz, said in a statement to The New York Times: “Our client categorically denies the allegation.”
Railey Lollie, 21, a model and actress who began working with Mr. Paul when she was 17, said he often called her “jailbait” and commented on her appearance. She said that one evening in late 2017, after filming a video, Mr. Paul groped her. She forcefully told him to stop, and he ran out of the room.
Ms. Lollie quit shortly after the incident. “I was with Jake for months, and I saw what kind of person he was behind the scenes and what kind of person he put out to the rest of the world,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Businessland
In the business and entertainment worlds, the name Jake Paul continues to have cachet. In March, Mr. Paul announced he was starting a new venture fund; already, powerful figures in Silicon Valley have agreed to contribute to the fund.
he told Rolling Stone recently.
interview with ESPN last year, Mr. Paul said he earned “eight figures” for a fight against Nate Robinson, a former N.B.A. star. For his most recent fight, against Ben Askren, a former mixed martial arts champion, Mr. Paul’s disclosed pay was $690,000. (After the fight, Mr. Paul wrote in an Instagram post that the fight had drawn 1.5 million pay-per-view customers.)
Where other YouTubers, like David Dobrik and James Charles, have faced financial fallout after accusations of misconduct, Mr. Paul has yet to see such consequences. “If Jake’s sponsors and investors don’t hold him accountable, then why would he change any of his actions?” Ms. Paradise said.
KAMPALA, Uganda — Bobi Wine’s eyes were bloodshot from little sleep. When he spoke, his thoughts trailed off, and his sentences sometimes lacked the precision and eloquence he employed while running for president. At times, he forgot to sip his coffee, even after bringing the mug to his lips.
Mr. Wine, 39, rose from a slum in Kampala, the capital, to become the foremost symbol of national resistance in Uganda, nicknamed the “Ghetto President.” But after an electrifying campaign that drew large crowds nationwide, the musician-turned-politician lost to President Yoweri Museveni in January’s election. He received 34 percent of the vote to the incumbent’s nearly 59 percent, according to Uganda’s electoral commission, despite accusations of vote tampering and rigging.
Now, three months after the end of a violent and bloody campaign season, Mr. Wine appeared nearly broken.
Among other things, Mr. Wine said his mind was on the government crackdown against his campaign, which started even before the election season and intensified in the weeks after the results were announced, when he filed a petition contesting them.
15-year-old nephew was kidnapped by unknown gunmen.
In his home, along a winding and potholed road named Freedom Drive, Mr. Wine was appraising the successes of his anti-government campaign while wondering how to build back an opposition movement that had been systemically assailed by Uganda’s president.
“Everything is worth freedom,” Mr. Wine said.
He was also quick to admit that his increasingly lonely and uphill fight had left him psychologically and physically exhausted. “It drains you when you do the right thing,” he said.
Mr. Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, rose to fame as a dreadlocked artist whose music — a blend of dance hall, reggae and Afrobeat — drew a wide following and was featured in a Disney movie.
filed to run for president, he became the most potent challenger to Mr. Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986.
International Criminal Court, accusing the Ugandan government of human rights abuses against protesters, human rights lawyers and political figures, himself included. He also accused Mr. Museveni of trying to kill him.
“What is happening in Uganda seems to be a silent genocide,” Mr. Wine said.
In the streets of Kampala, Mr. Wine’s election posters remain on display, his serious face and raised fist still drawing support from his followers.
Sseguya Mukasa Kenneth, 27, knew Mr. Wine for years and even practiced boxing with him. In January, Mr. Kenneth was kidnapped and beaten by security officers, he said, and was offered money in exchange for spying on Mr. Wine, which he refused. Mr. Wine, he said, has shown that “the current generation is the hope for the future.”
The opposition leader has faced his own share of criticism, specifically his use of a bulletproof car and his decision to withdraw the petition challenging the election results.
Mr. Wine said the armored vehicle was meant to protect his life — he says he has survived three “assassination attempts” — and cited “bias” and “impunity” in the Supreme Court as the reasons for pulling the suit.
At one point during the interview, his 5-year-old daughter, Suubi Shine Nakaayi, approached him. Protectively clinging to him, she said: “I don’t want my father to go back to jail.”
Mr. Wine is also considering a return to the studio, though his longtime collaborator is in detention and his producer was injured in December.
“I have had to learn to proceed even when my friends are held back,” he said. “And the next time I am offered a louder microphone, which is the studio microphone, I will express exactly what’s on my mind.”