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France arrests dozens for hate speech; Charlie Hebdo returns with first issue since attack

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    It's been one week since the bloodbath at a Paris publication that terrorized the city for three days.

    Today, police launched a new crackdown on those supporting extremism and terror, as the newspaper defiantly proclaimed its return.

    Even before newsstands opened in Paris this morning, long lines formed to buy a copy of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

  • VALERIA DE LUCA, France (through interpreter):

    In my opinion, it's a historical issue of the magazine, and it may relaunch the newspaper that was decimated.

  • ALEXANDRE GILBERT, France:

    Charlie Hebdo is the French "South Park." It's nothing aggressive. It's nothing annoying, even for all my Muslim friends. They love Charlie Hebdo for most of them.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Three million copies quickly sold out, as people snatched up the first issue since Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the newspaper's offices.

    Today's issue featured a new cartoon of Mohammed with a sign reading "Je suis Charlie," "I am Charlie." Many news organization, including the "PBS NewsHour," have chosen not to show it. Reaction from the Muslim world, official and otherwise, was emphatically negative.

    IYAD AMEEN MADANI, Secretary General, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (through interpreter): As an organization, we are in constant discussions in international forums to explain that the freedom of expression is not an invitation to hatred and it is not to offend the religion of the others.

  • MAYADA AL-HOMSI, France (through interpreter):

    I am against publishing the drawing of any prophet, not only the Prophet Mohammed. This is unacceptable. They can not abuse such prophets who were sent by God.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    While France celebrated free expression, officials also launched a crackdown on hate speech, with 54 arrests. They included popular comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who has multiple convictions for racism and anti-Semitism.

    At the same time, as a makeshift memorial to the Charlie Hebdo victims grew, the leader of al-Qaida in Yemen issued a formal claim of responsibility.

    NASSER BIN ALI AL-ANSI, Al-Qaeda leader in Yemen (through interpreter): We clarify that the one who chose the target, laid the plan, financed the operation and appointed its emir is the leadership of the organization. We did it in compliance with the command of Allah.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    The government of French President Francois Hollande has vowed to battle Islamic extremists. Today, he visited the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and announced it will support operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

    We will explore budding debate in France over freedom of expression right after the news summary.

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