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French writer quits job over Breivik essay

A writer who argued in an essay that Norway deserved mass-killer Anders Behring Breivik has stepped down from a post with top French publishers Gallimard, the company said Thursday.

French writer quits job over Breivik essay
Photo: DLSDPM

Richard Millet had not been fired, the company told AFP, saying he would continue to look after the writers he normally handled for the publishers.

But he would have to take a step back from some of Gallimard's activities and so had stepped down from the publishers' committee of readers.

Antoine Gallimard, chief executive of the publisher, had written to Millet to express his shock at the end of August, soon after the pamphlet "In Literary Praise of Anders Breivik" was published.

On Monday, Gallimard wrote to Millet to tell him that "as a member of the committee of readers, he represents the (publishing) house."

Millet, who says he has read Breivik's 1,500-page online manifesto in which the Norwegian set out his hateful world view, has insisted that he does not approve of the gunman's crimes.

However, Millet praised Breivik's writing and his cry of hatred for social democracy, immigration and multiculturalism.

"Breivik is without doubt what Norway deserves," wrote Millet in an 18-page pamphlet.

Breivik was as much a child of a broken family as he was the product of an ideological-racial divide caused by immigration from outside Europe over the past 20 years or so, he wrote.

A prolific novelist and essayist, Millet has been the editor of two winners of France's literary prize, the Goncourt — Jonathan Littel (2006) and last year's winner Alexis Jenni.

Breivik was sentenced last month to the maximum 21 years in prison for killing 77 people in a bomb attack and shooting rampage last year.

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BREIVIK

Norway mosque shooter ‘has admitted the facts’: Police

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his step sister and opening fire in a mosque near Oslo last weekend, has admitted to the crimes though he has not officially entered a plea, police said on Friday.

Norway mosque shooter 'has admitted the facts': Police
Philip Manshaus appears in court on August 12. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB Scanpix / AFP
Philip Manshaus, 21, was remanded in custody Monday, suspected of murder and a “terrorist act” that police say he filmed himself committing.
   
Answering police questions on Friday, “the suspect admits the facts but has not taken a formal position as to the charges,” Oslo police official Pal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said in a statement.
   
Manshaus is suspected of murdering his 17-year-old step sister Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, before entering the Al-Noor mosque in an affluent Oslo suburb and opening fire before he was overpowered by a 65-year-old man.
   
Just three worshippers were in the mosque at the time, and there were no serious injuries.
   
Manshaus appeared in court this week with two black eyes and scrapes and bruises to his face, neck and hands.
   
Police have said he has “extreme right views” and “xenophobic positions” and that he had filmed the mosque attack with a camera mounted on a helmet. He had initially denied the accusations.
   
The incident came amid a rise in white supremacy attacks around the world, including the recent El Paso massacre in the United States.
   
Norway witnessed one of the worst-ever attacks by a rightwing extremist in July 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik, who said he feared a “Muslim invasion”, killed 77 people in a truck bomb blast near government offices in Oslo and a shooting spree at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utøya.