Taiwan heads for key poll with one eye on Hong Kong

On a slow Thursday evening in the Ling Ya night market in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, Huang Jin-yueh, 60, is despondent as she washes utensils in the sink under the harsh strip lighting of her empty restaurant.

Taiwanese meat delicacies, offal and chicken’s feet are laid out in neat rows on a road stall to tempt hungry passers-by, but the long queues that once lined up are gone.

“Business has been bad for the last four years, but in the past six months it’s been even worse. The tourists have stopped coming,” she said. Ms Huang plans to vote for Taiwan’s opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), in January’s presidential and legislative election, hoping that her economic woes can be resolved. 

British teenager defiant in court as she joins supporters wearing protest masks after judge dismisses her as a fantasist

As the teenage defendant filed into the courtroom she glanced back to acknowledge the women lined up in the last row of the public gallery.

Each had a gag over their mouths with an image of stitched-up lips, in a show of support.

“We believe you, we are with you,” they shouted before the judge ordered silence.

The teenager threw them a quick thumbs up before turning round to hear her fate.

Six months earlier she had filed a complaint to police that she had been gang raped in her hotel room during a summer break in Cyprus.

Now she was on trial for fabricating the incident, charged with “causing public mischief”, defined by the Cypriot criminal code as knowingly providing police with “a false statement…

Shiori Ito, symbol of Japan’s MeToo movement, wins rape lawsuit damages

A Tokyo court Wednesday awarded 3.3 million yen ($30,000) in damages to journalist Shiori Ito, who accused a former TV reporter of rape in one of the most high-profile cases of the #MeToo movement in Japan.

The civil case made headlines in Japan and abroad, as it is rare for rape victims to report the crime to the police – according to a 2017 government survey, only four per cent of women come forward.

Ito, 30, has become an outspoken symbol for #MeToo in Japan, where the movement against sexual harassment and abuse has struggled to take hold.

She had sought 11 million yen ($100,000) in compensation from Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a former TV reporter with close links to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, alleging he raped her after inviting her to dinner to discuss a job opportunity in 2015.

Yamaguchi continues to deny any wrongdoing and had filed a counter-suit against Ito, seeking 130 million yen in compensation.

Former TV reporter Noriyuki Yamaguchi is accused of rape in one of the most high-profile cases of the #MeToo movement in Japan Credit: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP

"We won. The counter-suit was turned down," said Ito outside the court, holding up a banner that read "victory" as supporters cheered and clapped.

"Honestly I still don’t know how I feel," she told reporters, struggling to hold back the tears. "However, winning this case doesn’t mean this (sexual assault) didn’t happen… This is not the end," she added.

She said she hoped the case would change what she called the "under-developed" legal and social environment surrounding rape in Japan.

Japan raised its minimum jail terms for rapists from three to five years and widened the definition of sexual assault victims to include men for the first time in 2017.

Lawmakers decided unanimously to update the 1907 statute to impose tougher penalties on sex attackers and make prosecutions easier, as they look to boost Japan’s low number of convictions.

The latest World Economic Forum report on the gender gap published on the eve of the case ranked Japan 121st out of 153 countries, slipping even further down the list from 110th the previous year.

Yamaguchi announced he would appeal "immediately" against the ruling, saying: "I have not done anything that goes against the law."

He said the significant international media attention around the case might have clouded the judgment of the court and vowed to be more vocal in future.

Ito spoke out in 2017, shortly before the #MeToo movement, and this was "viewed as odd, especially in Japan", she said.

When the #MeToo movement emerged, "I thought ‘It wasn’t only me!’ and I believe there were others who thought so too," she said.

But things in Japan moved slowly.

"I saw women in Europe or the United States actively discussing it and standing up together but I didn’t think that happened in Japan at the same time," she said.

Ito said that a major problem in Japanese media is the high proportion of men in decision-making positions but she added that the situation has begun to change with overseas harassment stories appearing in Japan and her story being told overseas.

The court said in its written ruling that she was "forced to have sex without contraception, while in a state of unconsciousness and severe inebriation".

"We acknowledge that the plaintiff continues to suffer from flashbacks and panic attacks until now," said the court.

Charlize Theron revives accusations of sexual harassment by ‘famous director’

Hollywood was bubbling with intrigue on Tuesday after Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron revived accusations that “a famous director” sexually harassed her early in her career.

Theron, promoting her new film Bombshell, which details sexual harassment at Fox News under the late CEO Roger Ailes, told how she herself had been subjected to harassment.

Theron told NPR radio that playing former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly allowed her to explore what she called the “grey area” of sexual harassment.

“It’s not always physical assault. It’s not always rape,” she said. “There’s a psychological damage that happens for women in the everyday casualness of language, touch or threat — threat of losing your job. Those are things I’ve definitely encountered.”

She told how, in 1994, she had just moved to Los Angeles when a “famous director” invited her to an audition at his home one Saturday night.

Charlize Theron, pictured in October at the premiere of The Addams Family

When she showed up, the director opened the door in his “Hugh Hefner pyjamas” and touched her leg as she sat on the sofa: she apologised and left in a hurry.

She told the radio station that, driving away, she became angry with herself.

“I just kept hitting the steering wheel,” she said. “I put a lot of blame on myself, that I didn’t say all the right things, and that I didn’t tell him to take a hike, and that I didn’t do all of those things that we so want to believe we’ll do in those situations.”

The South African-born actress first told of the incident in 2009, speaking to OK! Magazine. She mentioned it again in April this year, while promoting Long Shot, telling radio host Howard Stern that she had been shocked by the encounter.

“I had just turned 19, I might have still been 18. I had never been out for an audition,” she told Stern.

“I asked this modelling agent if she’d heard of anything. She said, ‘Yep. Go to this guy’s house. It’s on Saturday at 9pm.

“He had a very healthy ego, he felt very good about himself.

“There was some kind of muzak playing in the house. He sat very close to me. That was strange. The drinking bothered me. I was like, ‘This doesn’t feel right.’”

Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen at the premiere of Long Shot in New York, in April. It was while promoting Long Shot that she spoke to Stern and detailed the harassment

Theron said she kept asking if he wanted her to read the pages of a script she had been given, to which he replied they were just going to talk.

“And then at one point, he put his hand on my knee,” she said. “You just go blank. Like you don’t know what to do, but I left.

“I don’t even know how I got out of the house, but I left. It would have ended really badly.

“I was driving my Ford Fiesta, that I was renting, up Laurel Canyon and I was so angry with myself that I didn’t say something.

“I was like, I’m not that kind of girl. Why did I not tell him to go **** himself? It made me so angry.”

She described him to Stern as a producer, and said: “He was a very big deal and is still a big deal.”

She told Stern that, eight years later, after making her name, she confronted him. She said he had no recollection of meeting her.

“I had my moment,” she said.

Theron has been a strong supporter of the #MeToo movement, and, in an interview with The New York Times, published earlier this month, told how Harvey Weinstein used his power to manipulate women. She said he lied about having sex with her, in order to entice other women to sleep with him.

“Pitting women against each other? Weinstein was really, really good at that,” she told the paper.

“There was a lot of, like, ‘Well, I’m talking to Gwyneth for this movie …’

“One of his lines was that Renée [Zellweger] and I slept with him to get jobs. There was no limit to him. Even in the sexual favours, he would still pit us against each other.”  

Charlize Theron, left, and Shirley MacLaine present the award for best foreign language film at the Oscars in 2017

Weinstein, who goes on trial in January for sexual assault and rape, has always denied accusations of non-consensual sex.

Zellweger, through a spokesman, denied in 2017 that she had slept with Weinstein to further her career.

Theron, 44, has also spoken while promoting the film about how her mother killed her father in front of her, describing him as an alcoholic and a "very sick man." 

She told how, in 1991, he tried to get into the house – belligerent, drunk and armed with a gun. Theron and her mother, Gerda, tried to stop him.

"Both of us were leaning against the door from the inside to have him not be able to push through,” she told People.

“He took a step back and just shot through the door three times.

"None of those bullets ever hit us, which is just a miracle. But in self-defence, she ended the threat."

She said that she was “not ashamed” to speak about her traumatic childhood, and said she wanted to end the stigma surrounding abusive families.

“I do think that the more we talk about these things, the more we realise we are not alone in any of it,” she said.

“I think, for me, it’s just always been that this story really is about growing up with addicts and what that does to a person.”

Anne Sacoolas, Harry Dunn crash suspect, pictured back behind the wheel

Harry Dunn’s mother has said she is "distraught" after the American suspect in the crash that killed her son was filmed back behind the wheel.

Dunn, 19, died after his motorbike was involved in a head-on collision with a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27.

Anne Sacoolas, 42, the wife of a US technical intelligence officer, claimed diplomatic immunity and was able to return to America.

She refused to answer questions as she was filmed by ITV News at the wheel of her car reversing out of a driveway before pulling away.

Harry’s mother, Charlotte Charles, was left in tears after viewing the footage and told the broadcaster: "I’m distraught to be honest.

Charlotte Charles, Harry Dunn's mother, said she felt "distraught" Credit: ITV

"She’s clearly just going about her normal day, driving and taking the kids to school.

"She looks well, she looks calm, the house is all decorated with Christmas stuff – candy canes on the driveway, lights around the tree.

"She’s just going about doing whatever she would usually do as though nothing’s ever happened.

"Her life looks so normal and she’s completely wrecked ours."

Mrs Charles is in the US with Harry’s stepfather, Bruce Charles, and father, Tim Dunn, to press for Mrs Sacoolas’s extradition.

Radd Seiger, Harry’s family’s spokesman, said: "They are completely devastated by what they have seen and feel like they have been taken for fools. They feel like they have been naive and stupid.

Harry Dunn's family were in tears over the footage Credit: ITV

"We are all rallying around them to support them but they just do not understand why the person who took their son’s life thinks she can just skip out of the country and just erase the whole thing from her life.

"The footage taken and her demeanour clearly shows she has no intention of coming back voluntarily to the face the music, nor does she appear to have any care or concern for what Harry’s family are going through.

"Harry’s parents will accordingly issue no further pleas appealing to her better nature to do the right thing and come back voluntarily. She clearly does not have that in her."

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was handed a completed file of evidence on November 1 after Northamptonshire Police interviewed Mrs Sacoolas in the US.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Janine Smith has previously said she will meet with Harry’s family once a charging decision has been made.

But the family has spoken of their frustration at the length of time it is taking and said they are considering bringing a private prosecution.

Mr Seiger said: "I once again now call on the CPS to do what they should have done weeks ago, which is to charge her with causing death by dangerous driving and to have her extradited without any further delay.

"There is no legal basis for her to avoid justice, and frankly, morally as well, everyone around the world now knows what needs to happen. The very rule of law, and the need to uphold and it being seen to do so, is at stake."

Premier League footballer’s ex-girlfriend found guilty of funding terrorism with £35 donation

A former beauty contestant and the ex-girlfriend of a professional footballer has been found guilty of funding terrorism.

Amaani Noor, 21, was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday of donating 45 dollars, around £35, to organisation The Merciful Hands via Paypal on May 23 last year knowing it would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism.

Noor, who the court heard had married an Islamist fighter online and planned to join him in Syria, sobbed in the dock as she was found guilty by a majority of 10 to 2 following three hours and 38 minutes of deliberation.

Judge Andrew Menary QC told the five men and seven women on the jury: "It’s a sad case. You have had an insight now into this very murky and challenging world that some people occupy online where people speak casually about some pretty awful things that are going on.

"A moment’s glance online will tell you Miss Noor was in a relationship with someone in the public eye.

"That person was a professional footballer so her life undoubtedly at some point changed dramatically."

Noor’s mother left the court crying following the verdict.

The former Miss Teen GB semi-finalist, who wore a black hijab and black coat with faux fur collar, claimed she gave the money believing it would be used to buy food for women and children in Syria.

In evidence, Liverpool-born Muslim Noor said she had begun to focus on her religion after she broke up from an unfaithful boyfriend who was "in the public eye" when she was 18.

She began discussing extremist organisations with people she met on the internet following a failed marriage to a Muslim preacher, who she had married at her home in Cinema Drive, Wavertree, and had planned to move to Saudi Arabia with.

The court was read messages between Noor and a man called Kareem Scent L, who she said she is still in touch with, and Victoria Webster, 28, of Nelson in Lancashire, who has pleaded guilty to three counts of fundraising contrary to the Terrorism Act 2000.

The former performing arts student accepted some of the views she expressed in them appeared "harder" than views of so-called Islamic State (IS).

She said she had wanted to find out about the organisations to decide whether or not to support them.

The court heard she married her husband, who communicated with her on the Telegram app using the name Hakim My Love, in a video-link ceremony on her 20th birthday.

She said he described himself as an "independent" fighter in Syria and she believed he was fighting for Islam and Sharia law.

She had planned to join him, she said, and on the day police searched her house had tickets booked to Turkey.

The court heard Noor made the donation using the name Margaret Allen after messages from Webster, who the court heard described the group as being IS.

Noor and Webster will be sentenced on Friday December 20.

Noor was given bail with conditions including a curfew, an electronic tag and the surrender of her passport.

‘OK, boomer’ is a slur on the elderly and must be stamped out, says French MP

The quip “OK, boomer" is discriminatory and reinforces “ageism”, has warned the author of a French government-commissioned report on finding ways to bridge the growing generation gap.

The term went viral last month after a 25-year-old New Zealand MP used it to dismiss an older heckler during a speech about climate change.

Young people now use it on social media as a way of brushing off the views of "baby boomers" perceived to be out-of-touch, condescending or closed-minded.

Dubbed the youthful riposte to “snowflake millennial”, it has struck a nerve with one US radio host declaring the phrase to be “the n-word of ageism”. According to the New York Times, it marks “the end of friendly generational relations”.

In France, there have been a string of attempted translations, including the arguably cruel: “D’accord, presque mort” (OK, one foot in the grave).

That may explain why Gallic politicians have failed to see the funny side of the tongue-in-cheek put-down of scolding oldies.

Audrey Dufeu Schubert, a 39-year old MP from President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist LREM party, on Thursday took aim at the expression when handing in a special report on “”succeeding in bridging the generational gap and fighting ageism”.

“We’re talking about censorship of what old people have to say,” she told Le Parisien.

“This contributes to ageism, which is, in fact a form of racism or, at the very least, discrimination. It’s extremely prevalent in our society, whether in the media, at work, or in public policy.”

She said elderly French were far too resigned to being treated as second-class citizens and their voice needed to be heard.

“I was surprised during my work by the fact that older people often put themselves into a submission position related to (such treatment),without even realising it. It’s as if as they get older their voice suddenly carried less weight,” she told the newspaper.

“To fight against ageism is also to work on acknowledging this voice,” she said.

Some would argue that the elderly French population are quite capable of making themselves heard.

Some would argue French pensioners are a vocal bunch Credit: CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON/EPA-EFE/REX /REX

Tens of thousands have joined two national days of protest against changes to the country’s generous pension regime. 

With a dwindling number of active workers funding a growing cohort of retirees given the ageing population, the government insists the pay-as-you-go system must modernise to avoid collapse.

Pensioners also made up the lion’s share of “yellow vest” protesters that occupied roundabouts earlier this year. Many accused Emmanuel Macron – at 40, France’s youngest leader since Napoleon – of "bleeding them dry".

Ms Schubert handed in an 87-point plan on fighting ageism that was ordered by President Macron. 

It includes a raft of proposal to stamp out discrimination against the aged, such as obliging young people on civic service to spend two months with pensioners.

Other suggested measures include promoting "Grey Games" – ‘Olympics for oldies’ – and putting polling stations in retirement homes to keep the aged in the electoral loop. One recommends banishing the “mid-career evaluation” in most companies at 45 on the grounds it suggests those past that age are in decline.

Ms Schubert also called for measures to encourage more older people to take up high-profile jobs in media and film, claiming that the age gap in screen couples was often 15-20 years with men almost always older, whereas “in reality (it) is only two to three years”.

According to a study by student work specialists Student Pop, some 81 per cent of millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) see the expression “OK boomer” as a generational “rallying cry”, with some 81 per cent saying climate change is the main cause of inter-generational friction.

A 25-year-old New Zealand politician has admitted making "some people very mad" by using a viral phrase in parliament.  Credit: BBC 

OK boomer went viral after Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick used it during a speech in support of a bill to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

"How many world leaders for how many decades have seen and known what is coming, but have decided that it is more politically expedient to keep [climate change] behind closed doors?" she said.

"My generation and the generations after me do not have that luxury. In the year 2050 I will be 56 years old… yet, right now, the average [age] of this 52nd Parliament is 49 years old."

As she spoke, another MP began to jeer from his seat, before Ms Swarbrick fired back: "OK, boomer.”

Michèle Delaunay, a former French Socialist official in charge of policy for the elderly, slammed the term as a “misunderstanding” based on an “Anglo-Saxon ageist fad”.

The truth is, she said, the young “need this boomer generation that represents 20 million people”.

“Today, they make up the backbone of social cohesion.”

Scandinavian woman ‘forced to withdraw rape claim’ in case similar to British teen’s Cyprus ordeal 

A Scandinavian woman says she was forced by Cypriot police to withdraw a rape claim or face arrest, in a striking parallel to the case of a British teenager who was allegedly gang raped on the Mediterranean island.

The Scandinavian woman said police officers questioned her aggressively for several hours after she was raped by two men outside a nightclub.

The officers accused her of lying and said that if she did not withdraw the rape claim they would arrest her and send her to prison.

Her account bears striking similarities to the alleged treatment of a British teenager who is on trial in Cyprus, accused of concocting a claim of gang rape by Israeli tourists in the resort town of Ayia Napa.

She made the initial complaint in July but 10 days later, after being questioned without a lawyer for eight hours in a police station, signed a retraction statement.

The alleged gang rape of the British teenager happened in the resort of Ayia Napa Credit: AFP

On trial for public mischief, she faces up to a year in prison and a fine of €1,700 if found guilty. She has pleaded not guilty.

The judge in the case is expected to hand down his verdict on December 30.

The 19-year-old British woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has told the trial that officers threatened to arrest her and her friends unless she retracted the claims of being gang raped by a group of young Israeli men.

After reading about the Ayia Napa case, the Scandinavian woman decided to come forward with her account of similar treatment at the hands of the Cypriot police 20 years ago.

It is the first time she has spoken publicly of the assault and has previously only discussed it with her doctor and her husband.

Now aged 43, she was 21 when she met the men in a nightclub in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, in January 1998.

They offered to give her a lift to her hotel. Instead, they raped her in a car park. “I fought for my life and thought I was going to die,” she told The Telegraph.

She went to the nearest police station to report the rape and was taken to a hospital for an examination.

She was then taken to a police station for questioning. “The main investigator was extremely brutal and aggressive. I was in big shock so I had some difficulties remembering details.

“This made him very angry. He then started accusing me of making the whole story up to receive money from my insurance company.”

The same allegation was made by in court by Cypriot police against the British woman.

Both alleged victims said they were mystified by the accusation because they did not think that holiday insurance covered rape and had no intention of claiming any financial compensation.

“I was very afraid and felt trapped in the room with them. They treated me as a big criminal. They kept me in the police station for many hours. They told me that if I didn’t withdraw the rape allegation they would arrest me and send me to prison. So I did and they let me go,” said the Scandinavian woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

She said she was still deeply affected by the ordeal and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder – just like the British teenager who is on trial. “The treatment I received from police was terrible,” she said.

Michael Polak, a British lawyer representing the teenager in the trial Credit: AFP

Michael Polak, a British lawyer representing the British woman, told The Telegraph: “This case bears remarkable similarities to the teenager’s case. It raises serious questions about the investigation of rape in Cyprus and the treatment of rape complainants there.”

In a report in 1998, a Norwegian newspaper claimed that police on the island routinely dismissed rape claims, treating the victims as liars.

The report quoted a Norwegian tour operator who said that “police never take rape claims seriously. All such claims are treated as false.”

“Police have a theory that tourists make such allegations so they can claim expenses for their holiday,” the report said.

A senior Cyprus police officer was quoted as saying: "Why rape when it’s so easy to find somebody to have sex with?"

At a hearing on Thursday, a Cypriot defence lawyer denied that the teenager had made up the rape complaint.

Ritsa Pekri criticised police for failing to download all the social media messages sent by the Israeli men on their mobile phones and said officers failed to secure the crime scene properly.

The prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there had been no rape, Ms Pekri said, calling on the court to acquit the woman.

But Adamos Demosthenous, the prosecutor, insisted the British girl had accused the Israelis of raping her because she felt humiliated and ashamed after learning that she had been filmed while having sex with one of them. He called on the judge to convict her.

Pigeons in cowboy hats spotted flying around Las Vegas

A Las Vegas animal rescue organisation is on the hunt for a pair of pigeons who were spotted with tiny cowboy hats attached to their heads.

The two birds were spotted by a Las Vegas resident named Bobby Lee, who filmed the pigeons and posted the clip on Facebook.

Lofty Hopes, a pigeon rescue organisation, swung into action to rescue the birds, which they have named.

Cluck Norris is the pigeon wearing a red cowboy hat, and Coolamity Jane wears a pink version.

Mariah Hillman, co-founder of Lofty Hopes, told CNN it looks like the tiny accessories were glued to the animals.

"When we saw them today, you could see some loose feathers in the glue around the hat," she said.

"It’s definitely a concern."

The rescue group has put out traps to try to catch the birds, and has created signs to raise awareness of their plight. Anyone who sees the birds is asked to call the organisation.

Some reports suggest a third bird in on the loose, wearing a brown cowboy hat. But Ms Hillman said her group has not been able to confirm it.

“We’ve got a couple of good leads,” she said.

“We found Cluck Norris. We’ve been chasing him all day.”

She aims to remove the hat, and said she hopes there has been no lasting damage.

“Hopefully it’s not impeding his vision,” she said. “It’s a living being. Every living being has a right to his own life.”

Isil ‘matchmaker’ who lured British teen bride to Syria deported to France

Turkey has deported to France the “Islamic State matchmaker” who lured a British teen bride to Syria as part of a drive to send foreign fighters back to their countries of origin.

Tooba Gondal, 25, is among 11 French nationals that Turkey repatriated early on Monday, according to France’s Centre for Analysis of Terrorism, CAT, citing official sources.

A French judicial source confirmed that four women and their seven children had arrived in France.

Two of the women returned were already targeted by arrest warrants and will soon face a judge, while the other two were sought by police and have been placed in custody, the French source said.  The children have been taken into care.

Ms Gondal, from Walthamstow, east London, has been "detained for questioning" and faces terror charges, said CAT. She will then likely be detained while awaiting trial.

She was born in France but moved to UK capital as a child and had British residency.

A source close to the family told The Telegraph they were upset by the UK’s decision to refuse her return.

"Her kids most certainly will go into foster care away from her and any of her family in Britain,” said the source.

Tooba Gondal, known as the 'Islamic State matchmaker' pictured before leaving for Syria in 2015

Ms Gondal has been accused of acting as an online recruiter and “matchmaker” for the terrorist group by luring women to Syria to marry Isil fighters. Among them was reportedly Bethnal Green schoolgirl Shamima Begum.

She used social media to post images of herself wearing a burqa and holding an assault rifle.

In October, Ms Gondal told the Telegraph how she managed to escape from Ain Issa camp with her two infant children, along with hundreds of other foreign suspected Isil women in a mass prison break after Turkey launched its offensive.

She expressed a desire to be sent to the UK or Turkey.

“I want to go home, see my family,” the former Goldsmiths, University of London, student said via WhatsApp messages. “But if I am not able, I want to seek refuge in Turkey."

Married and widowed three times while living in Isil’s “caliphate”, she was banned from re-entering the UK last November by a Home Office exclusion order, but her three-year-old son is entitled to citizenship because of his British father.

However, her 18-month-old daughter’s late father was Russian.

Last month, Turkey stepped up the return of suspected foreign Isil members – either held in Turkish prisons or in Syria – back to their countries of origin, saying Turkey was "not a hotel" for foreign fighters.

The Turkish interior ministry on Monday confirmed it had sent 11 French relatives of suspected "terrorist fighters" back home.

According to CAT, one of the deported women was Amandine Le Coz, who had been married to a Moroccan militant killed in Syria. She joined Isil with her husband in 2014.

The French foreign ministry and interior ministry declined to comment.

The mother-of-two, seen here with a Kalashnikov, was denied return to the United Kingdom with her children Credit: Telegraph

Turkey stepped up its deportation of foreign fighters after criticism from Western countries, in particular, France, over its military offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria.

The move has created a conundrum for European governments over how to manage the return of radicalised militants, some of them battle-hardened.

Britain, which has taken one of the strongest stances against the return of its nationals, has deprived many of them of their citizenship.

Under a 2014 accord between France and Turkey, Paris agreed to take back jihadists trying to return home from Syria via Turkey and incarcerate them at home. Some 300 French nationals have been thus returned in the past five years.

However, France is keen on foreign suspects being sent for trial near to their place of arrest – notably Iraq, where several of its nationals have recently been handed death sentences.

America last month clashed with Europe over the issue, with Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, insisting they needed to “hold them to account”.

"Coalition members must take back the thousands of foreign terrorist fighters in custody and impose accountability for the atrocities they have perpetrated," he said in a meeting of the international coalition against Isil in Washington DC.

Ankara says it has around 1,200 foreign Isil members in custody.

There are understood to be around 10 British men, 20 women and 30 children, currently detained in Kurdish-run camps and prisons around north-east Syria.