Energy workers in France threaten power cuts over retirement age

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Energy workers in France threaten power cuts over retirement age

France's energy union has threatened mass power cuts over Emmanuel Macron's plans to raise the retirement age after months of violent street protests. The powerful CGT union has already cut power to an airport and school that the president was visiting this month.

The WorldMay 3, 2023 · 3:00 PM EDT

Tear gas canisters land on Place de la Nation where protester arrive during a demonstration, May 1, 2023, in Paris. Across France, thousands marched in what unions hope are the country's biggest May Day demonstrations in years, mobilized against President Emmanuel Macron's recent move to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Thibault Camus/AP

France has been rocked by months of protests against Emmanuel Macron’s deeply unpopular decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The president has forced the change through Parliament, and his government hopes it will be implemented by the fall.

But the battle is far from over.

On Monday — International Workers’ Day — hundreds of thousands took to the streets in major demonstrations. And workers in the energy sector are now threatening mass power cuts unless Macron reverses course.

Such cuts could disrupt major events planned for coming months — including the Cannes Film Festival, the French Open tennis tournament and the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

France’s largest energy union declared Wednesday a “national day of anger.”

Members of the CGT Energy Union, and other groups, gathered in Paris’s La Defense business district.

Frederic Probel, a representative of the CGT Union at the protest, defended the threat of power cuts.

“Politicians must be made to understand the energy sector’s value,” he said.

“If we don’t work, there’s no light … And we can’t carry on working until we’re in our mid-60s. That’s the message we’re trying to convey as calmly but forcefully as possible.”

Millions of people from all walks of life have taken part in more than a dozen national protest days since the pension-reform plans were announced.

Transport workers have gone on strike and rubbish collectors have let trash pile up in the streets.

But energy workers say they will be particularly hard hit.

Probel explained that the reforms will remove a special dispensation that allows those working certain jobs in electricity and gas to retire five years early.

When they do retire under the new system, their payments will be less, he said. And this means that fewer young people will be willing to join the industry.

Power cuts are a relatively common protest tactic in France. Last month, workers cut electricity at an airport and school that Macron was visiting in the south of the country.

The president’s official residence has also been targeted along with the offices of politicians who support the reforms.

At the same time, unions say they are providing free power to some schools, hospitals and other buildings — in what they call “Robin Hood” actions as energy prices rise.

“It’s good to cut politicians’ electricity,” said Guillaume, a member of an energy union at the demonstration, who declined to give his last name because of concerns about his work.

“It’s so that they can understand what life is like for real people — for people in poverty and those in precarious situations.”

Members of Macron’s government have branded such protests illegal. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has urged the national grid to file criminal complaints against anyone found carrying them out.

Those at the protest on Wednesday say they were well aware of the legal risks but would do whatever it takes to force Macron’s hand.

The president has called for a period of reconciliation after the unrest of the past few months. With power cuts planned and more nationwide protests already scheduled, this seems unlikely. 

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A bakers’ rebellion looms in France to defend baguettes

class=”MuiTypography-root-142 MuiTypography-h1-147″>A bakers’ rebellion looms in France to defend baguettes

Due to soaring electricity costs, bakers in France can’t afford to turn on their ovens to bake bread. They’re demanding help from the government and threatening the unthinkable — to turn off their ovens.

The WorldJanuary 6, 2023 · 11:45 AM EST

Baker David Buelens puts the baguettes into a basket at a bakery, in Versailles, west of Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. 

Michel Euler/AP

A bakers’ rebellion is looming in France as they prepare to defend their beloved baguettes. Making bread, croissants and other pastries has become next to impossible, they say, due to soaring electricity prices. 

Now, they’re demanding help from the government. And if it doesn’t arrive soon, they’re threatening the unthinkable — to turn off their ovens.

Take French baker Phillipe Mendez. The sound of his electric ovens whirring to life used to be music to his ears. Now, it’s a source of stress.

“My electricity bill has gone up four-fold in the last eight months,” he said. “That’s besides the price hikes for my basic ingredients. The situation,” he added, “is becoming very complicated.”

Mendez opened his artisanal bakery nine years ago in the small Alpine village of Embrun. Business was good, until now. Inflation, the war in Ukraine and the Europe-wide energy crunch have Mendez at wit's end.

"My wife, Nathalie, has had to come in to work," he said, "as we’ve been forced to reduce our staff."

"What’s happening is a real shame," Nathalie said as she sliced bread on the electric slicer. "All of our bread is homemade. We strive for quality. But because of what’s happening,” she said, “our hands are tied."

"The French, deprived of their bread, would die,” jokes French baker Phillipe Mendez. Mendez is one of thousands of artisanal bakers warning they may need to unplug their ovens because it's too expensive to operate due to rising electricity costs. 


Gerry Hadden/The World

At the end of this week the Mendezes said they’ll have to raise prices by about 10%. They said they can only hope their customers will still come by. Because it's France, good bread isn’t some luxury item — it’s like water — you have it with every meal.

Local worker Julien Breniere picked up two baguettes on his way home from work. He said he can’t start his day without them.

“They’re actually mini-baguettes,” he said. “Ficelles. In the morning,” he said, rubbing his stomach, “I toast them and eat them with butter and jam.”

“Our bread is very important,” 80-year-old customer Giselle Van Overberk said. “It’s well known,” she said, “that the French baguette is the best in the world.”

You could chalk up such comments to national pride. But French bakers sell some 6 billion baguettes a year. In December 2022, the United Nations granted baguette-baking world heritage status. And each week on French TV, there’s a reality show — just for baking bread.

On the latest episode of “The Best Bakeries in France,” two stern-looking judges weigh in on a spinach and Brebis cheese loaf baked somewhere in the Pyrenees — 8 points out of 10, they declared  — with room for improvement.  

Beloved bakers in France are not immune to the energy woes gripping the country. Electricity prices are set to rise further this winter, as the government struggles to compensate for the loss of natural gas from Russia. In fact, the government warns, there could be temporary blackouts later this month. But its message to bakers is, “We’ve got your backs.”

“We will not let our bakeries fail,” said France’s Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire on the radio this week. “We’ll stand by them,” he said. “Helping with concrete measures.”

Those measures include tax breaks and emergency subsidies. But French bakers say they need more. 

“They speak of an emergency bail-out check,” baker Mendez said. But red tape is a problem. 

“I had to file an application about 6 inches thick,” he said. “And I still don’t know if I’m getting anything.”

Mendez said he can hang on for another couple of months. After that, he said, he’ll bake up his last batch of baguettes, then unplug his ovens for good. And that, he said, would be an existential catastrophe.

"The French,” he half-jokes, “will die without their bread."

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Email AddressEmail AddressSubscribeI have read and agree to your Privacy Policy.Related ContentMaine’s lobster industry is still feeling the effects of the trade war with ChinaLost luggage finds a new home at this Spanish nonprofitA state-owned company from China is building a massive commercial port in Peru‘We have to close the gap’: Some politicians in Colombia say it’s time to take pay cuts

A vegan bacon revolution takes hold in France

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>A vegan bacon revolution takes hold in France

La Vie, a plant-based food startup in France, is on a mission to start a vegan bacon revolution and has tested products that taste almost like the real thing. Pork lobbyists are not too happy about it. 

The WorldSeptember 14, 2022 · 5:30 PM EDT

In a hot pan, the streaky bacon made by La Vie starts curling within minutes, bubbling and crisping just like bacon.

Rebecca Rosman/The World

It’s not easy being vegan in France. Especially when you’ve been raised a meat lover. 

“In France, you don’t have too many vegans,” said Nicolas Schweizer, 35, who’s been vegan for about a year now. 

“There’s so much social pressure to just stick with meat on every single meal.”  

Schweizer is also the co-founder of La Vie, a plant-based food startup on a mission to start a vegan bacon revolution of sorts not just in France, but all over Europe. And some pork lobbyists are not too happy about it. 

La Vie’s white-walled, fluorescent-lit labs test two flagship products: American-style streaky bacon and French lardons, which Schweizer likens to pancetta or bacon bites. 

“We are convinced that animal fat is a big part of what makes animal meat so delicious,” Schweizer said. 

Nicolas Schweizer, 35, has been vegan for about a year now and founded La Vie, a plant-based startup hoping to revolutionize vegan meat. 


Rebecca Rosman/The World

He and his team have spent years trying to mimic that fatty layer using plant based proteins. But it’s almost impossible, he explained, because plant-based fats are usually oils that melt when heated. 

Years of testing in the lab seems to have paid off.  

In a sizzling hot pan, the streaky bacon starts curling within minutes, bubbling and crisping — just like bacon. 

And sure enough, the bacon is salty, fatty and crispy — successfully mimicking the texture that’s so difficult to re-create. 

It’s pretty close to the real thing. 

In a third-party survey La Vie ran, 250 meat eaters were invited to compare their vegan beacon to pork bacon, and 75% said they found the taste was “equivalent or superior [to pork bacon],” Schweizer said.

And 60% said they would be willing to swap pork bacon for La Vie bacon on a regular basis, he added. 

But this feat has gotten La Vie into trouble with France’s pork lobby, known as INAPORC

Earlier this year, INAPORC served La Vie with a formal notice for unfair competition for its veggie lardons which, they said, risked “deceiving customers” into thinking they were buying pork lardons. 

The pork lobby also said La Vie’s advertising violated the terms of a forthcoming law which bans plant-based food manufacturers from using words traditionally associated with meat products on their labels such as “sausage” “steak” and “bacon.”

La Vie's plant-based bacon tastes pretty close to the real thing. 


Rebecca Rosman/The World

In response, La Vie took out a full-page ad in the newspaper Le Parisien thanking INAPORC for the compliment and asking the pork lobby to consider changing its recipes.

The ad also featured a postcard cutout addressed to INAPORC, inviting La Vie fans to send it to the pork lobby. 

Over the summer, the Supreme Court agreed to put the label law, set to take effect this October, on hold.

La Vie hopes the law will at least be modified.

INAPORC declined to comment, saying it didn’t want to speak publicly about an ongoing case.

The pork butchers at the former Les Halles market near Rue Montorgueil in central Paris aren’t as tight-lipped.

Laura Spencer, a butcher at Les Terroirs d’Avenir, which sells local organic produce, cheeses, meats and other products, calls the whole debacle silly. 

“This all gets a little bit too far-fetched and it's just trying to create an even bigger gap between those who do eat meat and those who don't eat meat,” she said. 

But she also said she’s not a fan of plant-based meat alternatives.

“You can do so many other things with vegetables and get the same results without having to recreate false burgers and sausages and stuff like that.”

But Schweizer said the issue is that many vegans — like him — love the taste of meat.

“To have an option to retrieve all the pleasure that you get from meat — from a taste perspective — without all those negative impacts is amazing,” he said. 

La Vie's plant-based bacon has upset the pork lobby in France. 


Rebecca Rosman/The World

Indeed, animal farming is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions today. 

He hopes that eventually the meat industry will be phased out entirely. 

Along with coal and other industries that are damaging for the environment, he said it’s time for our society to transition to something that’s more sustainable. 

Bloomberg: Germany and France urged to fight “propaganda” inside Russia

Berlin and Paris propose to fight Russian “propaganda” in the European Union with the help of social networks.

Photo: pixabay. com

Bloomberg reported that Berlin and Paris are proposing to fight Russian “propaganda” in the European Union with the help of social networks. In particular, they propose measures that include courses and tools to circumvent censorship.

The publication clarifies that these methods are spelled out in an informal document that will be considered before the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministry on the visa issue. The document invites the EU to use “creative ways” to disseminate independent information in Russia.

In particular, the experts proposed the creation and funding of courses in Russian on literacy regarding information disseminated in the media. These courses could be distributed by bloggers on social networks such as VKontakte, Telegram and YouTube. It is also possible to use tools to circumvent Internet censorship.

Among other things, Germany and France propose to maintain open channels for communication with Moscow, despite anti-Russian sanctions and support for Ukraine.


The state of religion in France

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>The state of religion in France

For years, people have been questioning the concept of laicité — France's strict form of secularism — and how it plays into religious freedom. In this special hour of The World airing on Saturday, Paris-based reporter Rebecca Rosman takes a trip across France where she speaks to Catholics, Jews, Muslims and atheists about their right to believe, or not to believe.

The WorldAugust 26, 2022 · 7:00 AM EDT

A Virgin Mary in a public square in France.

Rebecca Rosman/The World

Does France’s strict form of secularism violate religious freedoms?

It’s hardly a novel question these days. For years, people have been questioning the concept of laicité — France's strict form of secularism — and how it plays into religious freedom.

In recent years, French President Emmanuel Macron has tightened the government’s grip on laicité, causing people of all faiths to accuse his administration of sometimes going too far.

That’s especially true for French Muslims.

Last summer, French lawmakers adopted a highly controversial “anti-separatism” bill.

For Macron, who spearheaded the bill, the legislation is designed to stop “Islamist separatism,” by reinforcing French secularist principles.

But for many Muslims, the law — which contains 51 articles aimed at curbing radicalization — targets their ability to practice their religion freely.

Jean-Paul Héraudeau stands in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary in a town in France.


Rebecca Rosman/The World

But it’s not just Muslims who say they sometimes feel hindered in their ability to practice their religion openly.

In this special hour of The World, Paris-based reporter Rebecca Rosman takes a trip across France where she speaks to Catholics, Jews, Muslims and atheists about their right to believe, or not to believe, in France today.

There’s the story of one town’s battle to keep a statue of the Virgin Mary standing in a public square.

One man’s plan to create a “French Islam” and the backlash behind it.

The French Jews who say they don’t feel safe practicing their religion at home.

The guiding principles behind the right to commit blasphemy.

And much more.

Related: Sacred Nation series on Evangelicals in Brazil

Yogurt method. How Katz proved France was doomed

Plot World History with Andrey Sidorchik

The main problem of modern politicians and public figures is that a significant part of them do not consider it necessary to study this or that phenomenon in depth at all. It is enough to throw in a statement that becomes the banner of another campaign.

“Greetings to the lovers of the USSR”

A former municipal deputy, a former member of the Yabloko party, a blogger recognized by the Russian Ministry of Justice as a blogger-foreign agent, Maxim Kats now zealously supports the Ukrainian authorities during a special military operation, condemning the “unrighteous” Russian actions. At the same time, the rhetoric of Katz's speeches suggests that he understands about nothing about the subject of Russian-Ukrainian relations and the history of the conflict.

But, in order to better understand the level of a bright representative of the camp of those who promise to lead Russia away from “Putin's Russia”; before “democratic prosperity”, it is worth turning to yogurt.

The network remembers everything, including one of the posts that Mr. Katz published in 2018: “Do you know such a thing as yogurt? But your parents did not know until 1991. They appeared only under Gaidar, before that they did not exist in principle. The Soviet industry did not know how to make yogurt. Tank — please, yogurt — no way. Big hello to fans of the USSR.

Soviet hamburger of the Great Terror era

Katz is not lying — even in Moscow during the Soviet years, everyone had a rather vague idea of ​​what yogurt was. Although this fermented milk product has been known since antiquity, it was mentioned in the culinary books of the Russian Empire and the USSR, and since 1965 it has been produced in Riga at a local dairy plant in small batches.

But the masses in the Soviet Union did not consume yogurt. At the same time, for some reason, there was no suffering from yogurt either. “Sour milk”, unlike the same notorious “Coca-Cola”, no one deified or cursed.

To understand what's going on here, here's another example. Hamburgers in the Soviet Union first appeared not during perestroika, but at the height of the Great Terror, in 1937. Stalls appeared on the streets of Moscow and other Soviet cities, where they offered “Hot Moscow Patty with a Bun” for 50 kopecks, and in addition to it a carbonated drink. Yes, yes, this is such a Western fast food in the era of Comrade Stalin. The author of the innovation was Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan, who, after a trip to the United States, diligently introduced interesting overseas know-how into the Soviet food industry.

Citizens accepted the Eskimo with a bang, but the “cutlet with a bun” alerted them. There was talk that a quality product cannot be sold like that, that it is generally some kind of wrong sandwich, etc. But Mikoyan did not lose heart and promised that the population would appreciate the hamburger. However, before the start of the war, the habit of fast food of this type was not fixed, and then it became not up to it. And it took another half a century for the hamburger to gain a foothold in our area.

The problem turned out to be not so much in the capabilities of the Soviet food industry, but in the eating habits of citizens.

France without cottage cheese: what the regime has brought

To prove this, let's look to the West, where the hamburger and yogurt have reigned for decades.

The fact that the attitude towards buckwheat, for example, in Russia and France is different, is not a secret for anyone. But the fact that Parisians until recently did not eat buckwheat porridge is not at all an indication of the weakness of the French food system. Buckwheat in France is used for flour or bird feed. However, recently, with an increase in the number of Russians in the country, local residents who love healthy food have begun to use the usual buckwheat porridge, and the cereal is sold in stores called Kasha.

But there is an even worse revelation. Once in Paris, the center of the civilized world, a Russian will be horrified to find that instead of the usual sour cream, he is offered a strange-tasting surrogate, and they don’t offer cottage cheese at all.

One goes, another comes

That is , all the power of France in the 21st century cannot give ordinary cottage cheese to people. Greetings to Paris lovers.

And the answer is simple — The French have different eating habits that change over time.

In the USSR, the mass consumer did not know what yogurt was, but he knew perfectly well what fruit kefir was. By an interesting coincidence, he disappeared from stores in the 1990s, simultaneously with the advent of yogurt. Modern fruit kefirs, produced in Russia, are a pale copy of the Soviet product. But this, too, does not cause a great tragedy for the Russians, and about “that” kefir is dreamed of mainly by older people, and young people are quite satisfied with yogurts.

In order to understand the mystery of the lack of yogurt in the USSR, you need to spend some time getting acquainted with the history of the issue. But then the loud thesis “tanks were made, but yogurts…” would disappear.

This does not mean that there were no problems in Soviet society. This means that today our past is branded by people with yogurt in their heads. One cannot figure out sour milk, another collects myths about Kolyma and the imprisoned ice cream maker, the third, looking at the Nazis point-blank, does not notice either the swastika or the corresponding slogans.

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Russians are no longer allowed into the Château de Vincennes in France

The Château de Vincennes houses the headquarters of the historical service of the French Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for the military archives. And access to the “military premises” of the ministry is closed to the Russians due to the events in Ukraine type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

View of the Vincennes castle

Due to the events in Ukraine, Russian citizens have been restricted access to the Château de Vincennes, the French Defense Ministry told AFP.

Vincennes— the largest royal fortified castle preserved in France. It was built in the 14th & 17th centuries. This castle is located in the commune of Vincennes in the eastern suburbs of Paris. It houses the headquarters of the Historical Defense Service of France, which is responsible for the management of military archives.

Tours are held in the castle— for security reasons, tourists are allowed inside with identification documents. Visitors can also access archival documents, but for this they must register on the website of this service and reserve the necessary documents in advance.

The castle is administered by both the Ministry of Culture (the building has been given the status of a historical monument) and the Ministry of Defense (because it is responsible for the historical defense service) of France.

As explained to the agency in the French Ministry of Defense, the Russians were limited access to the “military premises of the ministry” after the events in Ukraine. At the same time, they added that exceptions could be made for “requests regarding the work of journalists.”

According to AFP, two Russian women were denied entry to the Château de Vincennes in late July . One of the girls said that the guard at the metal detector asked her to show her passport, after which he said that she could not visit the castle.

Read on RBC Pro Pro “After 50/45/35 years there can be no career”: what top managers are afraid of Pro articles Eight tips for those who want to take meditation to a new level Pro instructions “I wake up while the world is sleeping”: why ex-Disney boss gets up at 4.15 am Articles Pro x The Economist 160% inflation: why the Turkish authorities can not contain the price increase Articles Pro “Playground for adults”: what it's like to work at Google – in 6 points He didn't let her in either. When asked what was the matter, the guards answered the visitor: “Because you are Russians.” According to AFP, the girl, a journalist by profession, left Russia and arrived in France five months ago, after the conflict in Ukraine began.

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Europe broils in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

class=”MuiTypography-root-126 MuiTypography-h1-131″>Europe broils in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

The hot weather in the UK was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off. French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country's southwest.

Associated PressJuly 18, 2022 · 10:15 AM EDT

This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region (SDIS 33) shows a wildfire near Landiras, southwestern France, July 17, 2022 . Firefighters battled wildfires raging out of control in France and Spain on Sunday as Europe wilted under an unusually extreme heat wave that authorities in Madrid blamed for hundreds of deaths.

SDIS 33 via AP

A heat wave broiling Europe spilled northward Monday to Britainand fueled ferocious wildfires in Spain and France, which evacuated thousands of people and scrambled water-bombing planes and firefighters to battle flames spreading through tinder-dry forests.

Two people were killed in the blazes in Spain that the country's prime minister linked to global warming, saying: “Climate change kills."

In recent days, unusually high temperatures have gripped swaths of Europe, triggering wildfires from Portugal to the Balkan region. Some countries are also experiencing extended droughts. Climate change makes such life-threatening extremes less of a rarity — and has brought heat waves even to places like Britain, which braced for possibly record-breaking temperatures.

The hot weather in the UK was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off.

French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country's southwest.

“The fire is literally exploding,” said Marc Vermeulen, the regional fire service chief who described tree trunks shattering as flames consumed them, sending burning embers into the air and further spreading the blazes.

“We’re facing extreme and exceptional circumstances,” he said.

Authorities started evacuating more towns, moving another 11,500 people from areas at risk of finding themselves in the path of the fires and their thick clouds of choking smoke. That will take the number of people who have been forced out of their homes in the Gironde region to nearly 28,000 since the wildfires began July 12.

Three additional planes were sent to join six others already fighting the fires, scooping up seawater into their tanks and making repeated runs through dense clouds of smoke, the Interior Ministry said Sunday night.

More than 200 reinforcements headed to join the 1,500-strong force of firefighters battling night and day to contain the blazes in the Gironde, where flames neared prized vineyards and the Arcachon maritime basin famed for its oysters and beaches.

Spain, meanwhile, reported a second fatality in two days as it battled its own blazes. The body of a 69-year-old sheep farmer was found Monday in the same hilly area where a 62-year-old firefighter died a day earlier when he was trapped by flames in the northwestern Zamora province. More than 30 forest fires around Spain have forced the evacuation of thousands of people and blackened 220 square kilometers (85 square miles) of forest and scrub.

Climate scientists say heat waves are more intense, more frequent and longer because of climate change — and coupled with droughts have made wildfires harder to fight. They say climate change will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

“Climate change kills,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Monday during a visit to the Extremadura region, where firefighters tackled three major blazes. “It kills people, it kills our ecosystems and biodiversity."

Teresa Ribera, Spain’s minister for ecological transition, described her country as “literally under fire” as she attended talks on climate change in Berlin.

She warned of “terrifying prospects still for the days to come" — after more than 10 days of temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), cooling only moderately at night.

According to Spain’s Carlos III Institute, which records daily temperature-related fatalities, 237 deaths were attributed to high temperatures from July 10 to 14. That was compared to 25 heat-related deaths the previous week.

The heat wave in Spain is forecast to ease on Tuesday, but the respite will be brief as temperatures rise again on Wednesday, especially in the dry western Extremadura region.

In Britain, officials have issued the first-ever extreme heat warning, and the weather service forecast that the record high of 38.7 C (101.7 F), set in 2019, could be shattered.

“Forty-one isn’t off the cards,” said Met Office CEO Penelope Endersby. “We’ve even got some 43s in the model, but we’re hoping it won’t be as high as that.”

The Balkans region has also seen sporadic wildfires, and is expecting the worst of the heat later this week.

Early on Monday, authorities in Slovenia said firefighters managed to bring one fire under control. Croatia sent a water-dropping plane there to help battle the flames after struggling last week with its own wildfires along the Adriatic Sea coast. A fire in Sibenik forced some people to evacuate their homes but was later extinguished.

In Portugal, much cooler weather Monday helped fire crews make progress against blazes. More than 600 firefighters attended four major fires in northern Portugal.

The results of the parliamentary elections in France called a warning to European politicians

The search for a compromise with the new composition of the government will become more difficult

On June 19, it became known that the coalition of French President Emmanuel Macron “Together!” did not receive an absolute majority of seats in the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections. Political scientist Yuri Svetov believes that without the advantage in parliament of the ruling party, it will be more difficult for Macron to promote unpopular reforms.

Photo: Global Look Press

In an interview with Vechernyaya Moskva, Svetov explained that during the presidential elections Macron managed to stop the questions that the French had for him. In particular, this concerns questions about the standard of living and problems against the background of support for sanctions against Russia. According to the political scientist, the current president managed to reverse this trend, since Marine Le Pen became the main enemy. The expert noted that Macron played the game for the second time, that the French would collapse if they got Le Pen, but after the presidential elections there were no prospects for improving the situation.

In addition, according to Svetov, the French see Macron's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine and think that Ukrainians are more important for the president than their own people. The expert clarified that in the parliamentary elections, French citizens had the opportunity not to choose between “good and evil”, as was the case in the presidential elections.

The political scientist explained that Macron managed to gain an advantage in the elections and the most mandates, but not an absolute majority in parliament, and the number of mandates has significantly decreased compared to the previous elections. Moreover, according to Svetov, Mélenchon, who shared second and third place with Le Pen in the presidential election, has now received second place, and the French, who criticize the current government, have supported Le Pen. The expert was amazed at her results, noting that third place would allow her to create a faction and solve some problems.

According to the political scientist, for the previous five years, the authorities could dictate something, to which the “yellow vests” movement received, but now it won’t work out like that. Svetov believes that it will be difficult to push through, he will have to give in, Le Pen will not meet halfway, and it is difficult to agree with Mélenchon, and he may demand payment, which may even be the post of prime minister.

In addition, the political scientist noted that the situation in France is a warning to many politicians in the EU countries. In particular, according to Svetov, this concerns German Chancellor Scholz and his party, since elections to the parliaments of the states are planned in Germany. And also, as the expert noted, this is a serious “call” for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who after some time may resign, despite the vote won in the party after the vote of no confidence announced.

Svetov believes that the French government will have to reckon with the fact that many French people are dissatisfied with the amount of money that is being spent on Ukraine. The expert does not believe that this will affect the country's behavior regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, since Mélenchon also supports Ukraine, and in any case, the key position is set by the United States. The political scientist added that the French are allowed a little initiative, but it's like a game of good and evil investigator, where France plays the role of a good investigator. However, according to Svetov, when it comes to sanctions, they are “right there”, and the country is also demonstrating its readiness to supply weapons.

Read also:The State Duma assessed the prospects for ending supplies of Western weapons to Ukraine


Australia to pay France more than $580 million to cancel submarine contract

The contract for the construction of 12 submarines worth $66 billion with Naval Group was canceled at the initiative of Australia after the announcement of the creation of the defense alliance AUKUS. Canberra announced its decision to build a submarine fleet with the US and Britain “Australia will pay France more than $580 million to break the contract for submarines” />

The Australian government will pay the French shipbuilder Naval Group $585.2 million as compensation for breaking the contract for the construction of submarines, concluded by Canberra in 2016 . This was announced by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, reports ABC.

According to the head of government, a final agreement has been reached between the Australian authorities and the French defense company Naval Group on compensation for the unilateral termination of the contract, which Canberra announced in September 2021. “The Australian Government will pay A$830m ($585.2m) in fair settlement of <…> Now we can restore [Australian-French] relations that will no longer be marred by, — Albanese said.

The prime minister also said that French President Emmanuel Macron took an active part in resolving the conflict and, after the decision on compensation, invited the Australian leader to pay an official visit to his country. “I believe that a face-to-face meeting between me and President Macron in France is absolutely necessary to reset this relationship, which is important for the national interests of Australia,” added prime.

Last September, the US, UK and Australia agreed on a new defense and security partnership, AUKUS (short for three countries), designed to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region. As a result, Australia canceled a $66 billion contract concluded with France in 2016 for the construction of 12 submarines. In return, she will receive American nuclear submarines.

France criticized the actions of the allies. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called Australia's decision a “stab in the back” and accused of “faithful trust.” Paris then withdrew its ambassadors from the US and Australia for consultations. Naval Group, after the news of Australia's decision to build nuclear submarines with the help of the UK and the US, announced “serious disappointment”.

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The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commenting on the actions of Australia, reminded France of how she herself in 2015 broke the contract with Russia for the supply of Mistral helicopter carrier ships. “Rupture of contracts for France seems to be a common thing. In 2015, Paris canceled a deal with Russia for two Mistral aircraft carriers. Or are only the knives that you feel in your back bad? — Zakharova asked.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in turn, warned about the intensification of the arms race. Beijing has accused the US and Britain of nuclear proliferation.

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France prepares to supply Ukraine with weapons of mass destruction

The explosion of a shell with shrapnel leaves no chance to survive

Regular shelling by Ukrainian artillerymen and rocket launchers of civilians in Donbass does not seem to have forced Western leaders to refuse to supply weapons to Kyiv. And this is despite the fact that in the same Donetsk, at the site of the shelling of a residential area, fragments of NATO-caliber ammunition – 155 mm – were found. Moreover, information appeared in social networks that France is ready to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) with proximity fuses for the shells of its CAESAR self-propelled artillery mounts. Their use turns the artillery system almost into a weapon of mass destruction.

Photo: Global Look Press

Ukrainian armed forces intensified shelling of residential areas of Donetsk. Civilians were killed, including women and children. According to the DPR security officials, Ukrainian troops shelled the residential areas of Donetsk from the French self-propelled gun CAESAR with a caliber of 155 mm.

Commenting on this information in the tg channel, Israeli political scientist Yakov Kedmi wrote: “When Macron sent weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, did he mean exactly this “assistance to Ukrainian democracy” – strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure? And if the Elysee Palace was covered with such guns, what would he say?

And now information has appeared that proximity fuses can be supplied for the shells fired by CAESAR self-propelled guns. What it is? This is a special electronic device, a micro-radar, which determines the distance to the ground and at the right time gives a command to detonate a projectile at a certain height. In this case, an explosion directed into the lower hemisphere covers a huge area with small steel balls – the size of a football field, creating a zone of continuous destruction. Neither walls nor trenches save us.

Now let's imagine that frostbitten Ukrainian artillerymen will cover some market or train station in Donetsk with such a projectile. There will be hundreds of victims. Has Macron completely lost his fear and scent? – political scientist Yulia Vityazeva asks a question in the tg-channel. Apparently, the question is rhetorical.

Earlier, the France2 TV channel reported that France had already transferred 18 CAESAR self-propelled guns to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

And the new French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in Kyiv announced France's intention to transfer additional the number of 155-mm/52 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers. “Soon there will be new deliveries of CAESAR self-propelled artillery systems, and we will continue cooperation in this context,” said the head of French paramilitary diplomacy.


Lavrov spoke about the role of France in inciting neo-Nazism in Ukraine

Foreign Minister Lavrov: Russia is sad to see France's support for neo-Nazism in Ukraine ” src=”” alt=”Lavrov announced the role of France in inciting neo-Nazism in Ukraine” />

Russia is sad to see how France plays one of the initiative roles in inciting neo-Nazism in Ukraine. This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with the French TV channel TF1.

“Paris is actively arming Ukraine, including with offensive weapons. Demands to wage war “to a victorious end”, “to defeat Russia”. This only says that all our long-term appeals to the West with a call to negotiate on an equal footing were not only not heard, but deliberately ignored, — he stressed.

Lavrov summed up that Western countries, apparently, did not want equal cooperation with Russia.

At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Moscow sees the desire of Paris towards “strategic autonomy”. In particular, French leader Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly spoken about the need for a new security architecture for the European region, but “the United States does not allow anything to be done”, having completely subjugated Europe, Lavrov emphasized.

The material is being supplemented

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France allowed the introduction of the EU embargo on Russian oil “this week”

State Secretary of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon allowed the EU embargo on Russian oil until May 15 Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon said that the EU could take a decision on the embargo on Russian oil as early as this week. Today Emmanuel Macron will speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban France allowed the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil “this week” />

The European Union may decide on an embargo on Russian oil this week, Clément Bon, Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry, said on the LCI TV channel. the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which provides, in particular, a ban on the supply of crude oil, will appear in the coming days. Bon noted that “the rejection of Russian oil will be sensitive for a number of countries due to their heavy dependence on its supplies.”


Bon added that several European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, are set to speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban later today. Budapest opposes phasing out Russian oil, believing it would undermine the security of the country's energy supply and its economy. Von der Leyen has previously said she has made progress in talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on sanctions and energy security.

According to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union intends to refuse the supply of Russian crude oil within six months, and the import of refined products— by the end of 2022. Bloomberg and Reuters wrote that the European Union proposed to ban European courts and companies from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil, including in the field of insurance.

On May 4, Reuters reported that the ambassadors of the EU countries had not reached an agreement on the embargo, according to the source of the agency, concerns about oil restrictions were expressed by Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Bloomberg noted that a Hungarian representative objected to the embargo, while Greece, Malta and Cyprus raised the issue of banning oil transportation between third countries, saying that this move would help competitors from Europe.

According to Bloomberg, on May 6, the European Union offered to give The Czech Republic has until June 2024 to give up Russian oil, while Hungary and Slovakia— until December 31, 2024.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto spoke that Budapest would not vote for the sixth package in its current form, specifying that the country would like the ban not to apply to imports of crude oil through pipelines. countries.

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Macron inaugurated in France

The re-elected president promised to build a “stronger France” and expressed confidence that the country would show its best in “difficult times.” The ceremony was attended by his predecessors Sarkozy and Hollande

Emmanuel Macron

The inauguration of French President Emmanuel Macron took place at the Elysee Palace. He officially took office as head of state for the next five years.

The ceremony began at 11:00 local time (12:00 Moscow time), according to France24. In total, it was attended by about 450 guests, including former heads of state Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. According to tradition, 21 cannon shots were fired near the House of Invalids.


Macron vowed to build a “stronger France” during his second term and “a more habitable planet,” reports RFI. He tweeted video clips of his speech and wrote that “France is doing its best in difficult times.”

The presidential elections in France this year were held in two rounds. 12 candidates participated in them. In the second round, as during the 2017 elections, Emmanuel Macron and the leader of the “National Rally” Marine Le Pen. As a result, Macron won 58.54% of the vote and became the first French president since 2002 to win for the second time (the last time it was Jacques Chirac).

After his re-election, Macron promised the French to be a “president for all” ; and work towards a “more just society and equality between women and men”.

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Between Macron and Le Pen: elections in France called “poor quality”

Polls Predict Historically Low French Presidential Turnout

On Sunday, April 10, French people vote in the presidential election. Voting turnout may be historically low, according to opinion polls.

Photo: ruwikipedia

ahead of the French presidential election polls, 80% of those polled felt that the campaign was of “poor quality”, many complained about the lack of ideas or new vision, writes The Guardian.

According to pollsters and analysts, most French people believe that the 2022 presidential election campaign was of poor quality and never got off the ground, which could lead to a protest vote and a historically low turnout in the first round on Sunday.

An Ifop poll this month found that 80% of French people thought the campaign was “low quality.” Voters have complained about the lack of new political ideas or vision and few solutions to their problems after two years of the Covid pandemic, as well as the conflict in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis.

Emmanuel Macron is campaigning to become France's first re-elected president in 20 years, promising to continue cutting taxes, raising the retirement age to 65 and securing full employment in France after decades of mass unemployment. But he entered the race late, focusing instead on trying to resolve the crisis diplomatically between Russia and Ukraine, and his lead in opinion polls has slipped slightly in recent days, while far-right candidate Marine Le Pen closed the gap on Macron to second place.

Le Pen has focused on the cost of living crisis, and her anti-immigration agenda includes a ban on the Muslim hijab in all public places. Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also gaining momentum in the polls, promising to freeze prices and overhaul the presidential system.

Despite the main fears of French voters – the cost of living crisis, the armed conflict in Ukraine and the environment – public interest in this campaign turned out to be less than in the last presidential election, held five years ago. There were fewer rallies, and voters complained about the lack of direct televised debates between all candidates.

As the first round campaign approached its final week, 54% of French people said they thought it hadn't started yet. An unprecedented number of French voters say they are unsure who to vote for, and abstentions could reach a record high of 30% on Sunday, polls showed.

Incumbent President Macron tried to mobilize his voters, comparing the political mood to what it was in the UK before the Brexit vote in 2016.

“There is no certainty,” Macron warned at his only rally in Nanterre outside Paris, brushing aside his lead in the polls. “Don’t believe the polls or the commentators who sound unequivocal and tell you that … the elections have already taken place, that everything will be fine”

Later, Macron told a radio interviewer that, in his opinion, society was “tired of two years of Covid “and” stunned “by the events in Ukraine. He claimed that the campaign did discuss “real topics”, but acknowledged that there was “a collective question about whether voting makes sense”. At the same time, Macron argued that voting is crucial.

Opinion pollsters say the fact that this election has been seen as a foregone conclusion for months – that Macron will easily win – could affect turnout and choice, and make voters feel like they want to prove the predictions wrong. A total of 66% of French people now believe Macron will win, a figure that has declined in recent weeks due to rising support for Marine Le Pen.

The feeling of weariness and predestination brings to mind comparisons with the “earthquake” in the 2002 elections 20 years ago, when Le Pen's father, far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, knocked out the left to reach the final against Jacques Chirac.

“Like today, in 2002 there was a constant feeling that the campaign was not working, which in turn created the temptation to hold a protest vote,” says François Miquet-Marty, head of polling at Viavoice. “Our poll shows that 75% of French people think there are no new ideas in this campaign. And at the same time, 76% of people are worried about the future of their children. There is a sense that the solutions offered by this campaign are not enough.”

French media and analysts have described the campaign as a lulling of voters in a country already plagued by crisis. Communist candidate Fabien Roussel said this week that the campaign is “as if on morphine.” Jean Lassalle, an MP from the country's southwest dealing with rural issues, didn't pick a word in February and said in a TV interview: “This campaign is crap,” and the clip has since gone viral among French people who apparently share this opinion.

As The Guardian recalls, the campaign actually began last fall amid a micron wave of Covid infections. Then the unexpected rise of far-right television pundit Eric Zemmour initially pushed the issue of national identity to the top of the agenda. But the conflict in Ukraine ended up dominating the media headlines. Macron has delayed the start of his campaign, initially capitalizing on a kind of “rallying around the flag.” Currently, Macron's approval ratings have declined, although he holds the lead, while Le Pen and Mélenchon's ratings have risen, and Zemmour has fallen again in the polls.

The presidential election has started in France: shots of charming candidates

See related photo gallery


Pensions, the army and the veil: what are the candidates for the presidency of France arguing about

In France, April 10 will begin to elect a president. Current President Emmanuel Macron and his rival in the last election, Marine Le Pen, are leading in the polls. What is known about the main candidates and their programs – in RBC infographic

Polls show that none of the 12 candidates will win in the first round on April 12 will not succeed, so the name of who will occupy the Elysee Palace for the next five years is likely to become known after the second round, on April 24th. Race leader— current head of state Emmanuel Macron, his most likely rival in the second round— head of the “National Association” Marine Le Pen. If this couple enters the second round, they will repeat the scenario of the 2017 elections, when, following the results of the second day of voting, Macron became the youngest president in the history of the country.

Five years ago, Macron was a little-known politician, and in the current campaign acts as one of the leaders of the European Union. Since the beginning of the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, he has taken on the mission of one of the main mediators between Moscow and Brussels. The start of the Russian special operation disrupted the usual course of the campaign: Macron officially put forward his candidacy only on March 3, the last day legally possible. Most of his rivals, by contrast, have been campaigning since early autumn last year. Against the backdrop of the Russian military operation and its consequences for Europe, French presidential candidates talk more about security and the military budget, but do not forget about the traditional issues of preserving national identity and pension reform.

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France, Turkey and Greece are preparing an operation to evacuate Mariupol

French president wants to discuss 'exceptional humanitarian operation' with Putin

President Emmanuel Macron says France is going to lead an 'exceptional humanitarian operation' alongside Turkey and Greece to evacuate residents of a Ukrainian city Mariupol.


“We are going to launch a humanitarian operation together with Turkey and Greece to evacuate all those who want to leave Mariupol,” Macron told reporters after a two-day EU summit.

According to POLITICO, Macron provided few details about his plan, but said the operation would take place “the sooner the better” and would be carried out “in agreement” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian authorities. The French leader also said that he was in touch with the mayor of Mariupol.

The French President also said that he would discuss the Mariupol operation with Russian President Vladimir Putin “within 48-72 hours.”

“I hope that I can involve the maximum number of interested parties in this operation,” Macron said.

France plans to demand that Russia allow passage both for those residents who want to leave Mariupol and provide humanitarian assistance those who want to stay, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a French source.

More than 100,000 people remain stranded in Mariupol, says POLITICO.

“I have a special thought for the people of Mariupol, who are experiencing one of the greatest dramas,” French President Macron said. “Today, in this city of more than 400,000 people, only 150,000 are left who live in a dramatic situation.”

Macron had already discussed the “humanitarian action” in Mariupol with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels the day before.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also confirmed on Friday that a humanitarian operation in the Ukrainian city, which has a large Greek community, is being discussed.

Earlier this week, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said he intended to accompany a humanitarian mission to Mariupol. “Today, in an official note sent to the Ukrainian side, I ask you to assist, and in another note to the Russian side, not to interfere with the sending of humanitarian aid to Mariupol. I intend to personally accompany this mission in agreement with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Mauer, with whom we are already in contact,” Dendias said.

It is worth noting that all three countries that could allegedly be involved in a “humanitarian operation”, are members of NATO. If Greece’s participation is explained by the presence of the Greek community in Mariupol, and Turkey’s participation is obviously due to geographical reasons (the possibility, for example, to organize the evacuation of the population by sea), then the activity of the French leader can be explained by the desire of Emmanuel Macron not only to help the residents of the Ukrainian city, but also the desire to increase its foreign policy authority in the light of the upcoming presidential elections in April.


The ministers of Italy and France are shocked by the impact of anti-Russian sanctions on the economy of their countries

Russia's response to Western sanctions exceeded the worst fears of officials in the two countries.

The former head of the Ministry of Trade and Crafts of Italy, Paolo Savona, shared on social networks the fears that the trip around the country caused him.

On his Twitter account, he said that the consequences of the imposition of anti-Russian sanctions caused him contradictory feelings.

After visiting a gas station, he admitted that if he previously believed that restrictive measures were directed against Russia, now he believes that they are addressed inside the country.

Meanwhile, the head of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament, Robert Fico, on the contrary, calls for tougher measures against Russia, saying that it is necessary to abandon oil purchases in the future.

According to him, sanctions should be extremely tough.

“Required… think about blocking oil imports”, – he said.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire also expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the country.

On the air of the BFMTV channel, he said that due to pressure on Russia due to military special operation in Ukraine is capable of completely cutting off gas supplies from Moscow to Paris, and this will lead to an increase in fuel prices and, ultimately, food.

He said that he feels “uncertainty&#8221 ; due to the likely counter-sanctions of Russia and the behavior of the PRC against this background, which are now unknown to Western leaders.

Le Maire believes that it will be a mistake to answer as if the West knows exactly what he is talking about.

Recall that earlier Le Maire has already stated that France intends to continue the “total economic” the EU war against the Russian Federation and is planning new sanctions against Moscow, which will be discussed at a meeting of the heads of the European Union on March 10-11 in Versailles.

As Topnews wrote earlier, Russia topped the list against the anti-Russian sanctions imposed against it.



AFP learned about the mobilization of 9.5 thousand soldiers in France due to the Russian operation

AFP: France will put more than 9.5 thousand troops on alert because of the fighting in Ukraine According to AFP, France will mobilize 9.5 thousand troops because of the military operation in Ukraine. More than 1.5 thousand people will be engaged in strengthening the positions of NATO in Eastern Europe ” alt=”AFP learned about the mobilization of 9.5 thousand soldiers in France because of the Russian operation” />

In France, more than 9,500 troops will be mobilized or put on alert by the end of next week due to the Russian military operation in Ukraine, a source in the country's General Staff told AFP, Le Parisien reports.

« We will have more than 1,500 French soldiers who will be directly involved in missions to strengthen NATO's position on the eastern flank, — said the source of the agency. 8,000 military “are on alert as part of the NATO Rapid Reaction Force.”

France will send 500 troops to Romania, and another 100 people will escort the upcoming arrival of four Mirage 2000-5 fighters, which should “strengthen the air defense of the Baltic countries” in Estonia, said a source in the General Staff.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on the night of February 24, President Vladimir Putin justified it by the need to protect the civilian population from “genocide”; by the authorities of the country. He called the decision a forced step and assured that Russia would not occupy the territory of a neighboring state. The Ministry of Defense claims that the shooting is carried out only on the military infrastructure of Ukraine.

According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 198 people died during the hostilities, more than 1.1 were affected.

France urged Russia “immediately” stop the military operation. French President Emmanuel Macron also noted that Paris is in solidarity with Kiev and is cooperating with partners to end the armed conflict as soon as possible.


France rejects resolution calling for Assange asylum

French National Assembly rejects resolution calling for Assange asylum The MPs who introduced the resolution said that Assange has been subjected to political persecution by the United States for more than a decade, while France is a country that defends the freedom of the individual and the press

National Assembly France (the lower house of parliament) rejected a resolution calling on the country's government to grant political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and make it easier for people involved in similar activities to obtain asylum. This is reported by with reference to the parliament session.

According to the news portal, 17 deputies spoke in favor of the document, against— 31. The debate on the resolution continued throughout Friday and ended only late in the evening.

The initiative for consideration by the lower house of the French Parliament was made by a number of deputies, including Jennifer de Temmerman, Cédric Villany, François Ruffin, Jean Lassalle . They argued their call to grant Assange asylum in France by the fact that for more than ten years he has been subjected to judicial, and in fact political persecution by the United States, while France— a country that defends freedom of the press and the individual.

The US authorities accuse Julian Assange of espionage and computer hacking due to the publication on the WikiLeaks website of US official documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and diplomatic cables from 2010 & ndash; 2011.

investigation, Assange was an accomplice of defense analyst Chelsea Manning, who violated the law on espionage, hacked into computers and published materials that could harm US intelligence informants. If extradited, he faces up to 175 years in prison.

Assange was detained in April 2019 after spending several years hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Since then, the US government has demanded his immediate extradition.

In early January last year, a British court refused to extradite Assange to the United States because he suffers from depression and could commit suicide in a maximum security prison. However, already on December 10, the Court of Appeal ruled out this risk, as US lawyers said they would not hold Assange in harsh conditions, thereby allowing extradition.

Lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder said they believe in the promises of the American side. His fiancée called the court's decision dangerous and erroneous because they want to send Assange to a country that “plotted to kill him.” She later stated that during the trial, 50-year-old Assange had a transient ischemic attack, his right eyelid did not close, and his memory was fuzzy.

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Pushkov reminded France of the consequences of “containment” of the Russian Federation

Russian Senator Alexei Pushkov commented on his Telegram channel the latest statements of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian concerning "principles regarding Russia".

photo frame from video

Earlier, the head of the French Foreign Ministry and his US counterpart Anthony Blinken described these principles as “deterrence, continued dialogue and increased transatlantic coordination”.

According to Pushkov, these principles of policy towards Russia are not new, moreover, France is far from being their “creator”; – the containment policy is broadcast from the USA.

“The three principles do not correlate with each other and doom France to a passive role,” stressed  Pushkov.


“Stab in the back”: how the treaty against China quarreled Australia with France

The AUKUS alliance, which was created by the UK, Australia and the United States, is aimed at China, political analysts say. But France was the first to be indignant: because of the new contract, it lost a contract for € 56 billion. Why this happened – in the RBC video


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USA, Germany, Britain and France discussed “Russian aggression”

The Foreign Ministers of the USA, Germany, France and Britain discussed the “containment” of Russia The Foreign Ministers discussed the possible consequences for Russia in the event of “further aggression” against Ukraine

Anthony Blinken (Evelyn Hockstein/AP)

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken discussed the situation around Ukraine and concerns over nuclear Iranian programs. He announced this on Twitter.

Blinken said that the topic of the conversation was activities to “ contain Russian aggression against Ukraine. '' “ We are united in our commitment to impose serious consequences and heavy costs in the event of further aggression, '' & mdash; he said.

The parties also discussed the upcoming format of the dialogue with Moscow, according to the statement of the German Foreign Ministry.

Moscow in mid-December sent Washington draft agreements on security guarantees for Russia and NATO. In particular, Moscow's initiative contains a requirement not to expand the alliance to the east and a ban on the inclusion of former USSR states in the bloc, as well as a ban on the deployment of military bases, servicemen and weapons on their territory.

If a refusal occurs, Moscow's response can be “very different,” admitted Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his opinion, Russia was “ pinned down '' to the red lines, “ beyond which there is nowhere to retreat. '' “It’s not even a line that we don’t want anyone to cross. The fact is that we have nowhere to go ', & mdash; he pointed out. Putin also spoke about concerns about the risk of missile systems appearing in Ukraine as they will be deployed close to Russia. “ Four to five minutes of flight time to Moscow. Well, where are we going to move now? They just drove us to the point where we have to tell them: stop! '' & Mdash; he concluded.

According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, Western countries must either take the proposals seriously or prepare for a “ military-technical alternative. '' Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov called Ukraine's accession to NATO a matter of “ life and death for us. ''

At the end of December, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that representatives of the alliance never gave promises not to expand the bloc, as this is allowed by the charter of the organization. He pointed out that a compromise with Russia regarding Ukraine's membership is impossible, since the member states of the bloc and Kiev will be discussing joining the alliance. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called Russia's demands humiliating.

Talks between Russia and the United States are scheduled for January 10, a representative of the American National Security Council said. Already on January 12, he added, a meeting of the Russia Council is expected & mdash; NATO, and a day later & mdash; negotiations between representatives of Moscow and the OSCE.

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Decay period: last December of the Union. December 26, 1991

On December 26, 1991, the USSR ceased to exist, the decision was officially formalized by a decree of the union parliament. RBC ends the cycle of publications about December 1991 with a chronicle of the last day of the Soviet Union

Dismantling of the signboard “Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR” after the last meeting of the Council of Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which adopted a declaration on the termination of the existence of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Last declaration

By December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union, in fact, already existed only on paper. State President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned from the job and handed over control of the “ nuclear button '' Russian leader Boris Yeltsin. The new Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) included 11 of the 15 former Soviet republics at once, with the exception of Georgia and the Baltic states. The USSR de facto ceased to exist, this decision had to be formalized legally.

The material was first published in 2016. Read the entire chronicle of the last December of the Union in the report of RBC “ 30 years without the USSR ''

The last decision in the history of the Soviet parliament had to be adopted in a limited composition: from two of its chambers, the quorum was preserved only in the upper & mdash; Council of Republics chaired by Anuarbek Alimzhanov.

The last meeting of the Council of Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which adopted a declaration on the termination of the existence of the USSR (Photo: Valentin Kuzmin/Photo chronicle TASS)

Dear People's Deputies! As you noticed, today the flag of the Soviet Union has been lowered over the Kremlin. And last night, you all witnessed how the president & mdash; the first president of this great country & mdash; submitted a vote.

I don’t know how the first session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR went and what was the state of the people, but, It seems to me that great things were said then: world revolution, social equality, socialism, the dream of going to communism. There, probably, many good, kind, wonderful words were said about the future of this huge country.

However, it so happened that today I was a participant in the last meeting of the last session. Ito, it was dreamed about, what was said on the first session, frankly, did not come true. Apparently, it said that, building socialism, we are stepping over an entire historical epoch. Alas, it turned out that history is impossible to step over epochs. ” From the transcript of Anuarbek Alimzhanov's speech at the last session of the USSR Supreme Soviet.

At that time, only five delegations remained in the Council of Republics. Nevertheless, even representatives of those republics that stopped participating in the work of the union parliament, including Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, were present at the last meeting.

Chairman of the Council Anuarbek Alimzhanov during his speech at the meeting, which adopted a declaration on the termination of the existence of the USSR (Photo: Kuzmin Valentin/Photo chronicle TASS)

The presiding officer proposed to consider that there is a quorum, after which a vote was passed and declaration No. 142-N under the title “ In connection with the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States '' was adopted.

“ Based on the will expressed by the highest state bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan and Ukraine on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Council of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR states, that by the re-establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the USSR as a state and a subject of international law ceases to exist '' (preamble of the declaration).

Several mistakes were made in the text of the document – the agreement on the establishment of the CIS was not ratified in Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Nevertheless, the legitimacy of the adopted document is already could not & mdash; the union parliament had to simply adopt this document in order to officially cease to exist.

It is interesting that this declaration was not the last in the history of the Supreme Soviet. A little later, the deputies made a decision to release from their positions as judges of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Arbitration Court of the USSR, as well as members of the collegium of the Union Prosecutor's Office. Their positions were abolished on January 2, 1992, and the employees were entitled to severance pay in the amount of three months' salary. This was the end of the history of the last operating body of power in the USSR.

An article in the Izvestia newspaper; dated December 26, 1991

Gorbachev's meeting with journalists

As a retired politician Mikhail Gorbachev met with journalists. The meeting took place at the Oktyabrskaya Hotel and lasted two hours. The ex-president of the USSR said on topics that for the entire last month: the responsibility of politicians, the need to continue reforms and that the Union should have been preserved.

“ I was opposed, now against, to go as scissors on the map of our country, the poet of a huge community. To redistribute powers, power, rights – yes, but not to diverge. And from the point of view of specific tasks, tactical tasks in the field of economics, social policy, finance, he believed that the union state with effective mechanisms is more necessary and justified than something incomprehensible. But the duty of every patriot is to help what has become a real process. Let these be steps towards agreement. It is necessary to choose, thinking on the people, the life of the “ real, today's ''. Mikhail Gorbachev at a meeting with journalists on December 26, 1991.

Most of the world's politicians followed Gorbachev with warm words, saying that he managed to change the course of history, and his achievements as the head of the Soviet Union were revolutionary.

  • “I salute him as the most outstanding person in the history of this century, who achieved the emergence of democracy in his country, the end of the Cold War and disarmament.” François Mitterrand, President of France.
  • “ This is a great man. He returned freedom to the countries of Eastern Europe. He presented it to the peoples of the Soviet Union for the first time. Real personal and political freedom. This is a huge accomplishment. And he did it without firing a single shot. '' Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • “ For almost seven years that he was the head of state, Gorbachev carried out revolutionary changes at home and renewed the foreign policy of the USSR. He led the country out of seventy years of paralysis and oppression. The German people will never forget Mikhail Gorbachev's contribution to the unification of Germany. '' Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor.
  • “Very few people have been given the power to change the course of history. But this is exactly what Gorbachev did. No matter what happens, he is guaranteed a place in history. Today the former Soviet Union is a country that is on the road to democracy. He left the presidency by making the world a safer place by reducing the nuclear threat. ” John Major, Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • “ Without those changes in the Soviet Union, sponsored by Gorbachev, it would have been impossible to expect such a fundamental change in the policy of this state … NATO has been able to lend a hand of friendship to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe for these changes. '' Manfred Werner, NATO Secretary General.

Following the announcement of his resignation, Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the USSR, met with Soviet and foreign journalists (Photo: Yuri Lizunov/TASS Photo Chronicle)

Foreign Press

  • “ Gorbachev's resignation '' the date is inevitable. A lot of things will happen because of Gorbachev's shortcomings: his weak ability to understand people, his indecision and softness, which raised doubts about his adherence to principles. But in two moments he stood firmly on his own. He refused to use force to preserve the Soviet Union, and he saw the Soviet Union only as a single state. He eventually admitted that it was incompatible. '' (The Times)
  • “ Yesterday, despite two days of talks, the gap between Russia and Ukraine widened over nuclear weapons control and a joint military policy for the CIS countries. The degree of mistrust between Ukraine and its neighbor was demonstrated by the move by Russia of the largest and most aircraft-carrying cruiser in Ukrainian waters to a special pier in Murmansk. This was the first time that Russia attempted to establish control of over-Soviet military assets outside its borders, and it was a direct challenge to the Ukrainian decree providing for command of the armed forces and equipment over its territory. '' (The Times)

Other news of the day

  • The Parliament of Tajikistan has ratified the agreement on the establishment of the CIS.
  • The Supreme Council of Tatarstan adopted a declaration of accession to the CIS on the rights of one researcher.
  • Director of the allied Central Intelligence Service (CSR) Yevgeny Primakov headed the Russian intelligence service.
  • Vice-Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, following a meeting with Yeltsin, stated that the grounds for the resignation of the head of the city, Gabriel Popov is no more, then the Russian leadership is ready to consider laws on the special status of Moscow.
  • The head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky on the air of the Belarusian television stated the need to liquidate Belarus and transform it into one of the Russian provinces. After that, an unauthorized rally took place in Minsk, during which supporters and opponents of the politician fought.

Chronicle of December 1991

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France lashes out at Britain’s latest proposal on migrants

class=”MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>France lashes out at Britain's latest proposal on migrantsAssociated PressNovember 26, 2021 · 11:30 AM EST

A makeshift camp for migrants is set up along the river in Loon Plage, near Grande-Synthe, northern France, Nov. 26, 2021.

Rafael Yaghobzadeh/AP

France reacted with anger and dismay on Friday to Britain's latest proposals for dealing with the deadly flow of migrants between their shores, ramping up a battle of wills over dangerous crossings of the English Channel that killed 27 people in a sinking this week.

President Emmanuel Macron scolded the office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson for making public a letter that the British leader sent to the French leader on Thursday. Most notably, Johnson proposed that France take back migrants who illegally cross the English Channel — an idea that France quickly and summarily dismissed.

“I am surprised by methods when they are not serious," Macron said on a visit to Italy. “You don’t communicate from a leader to another on these matters via tweets and letters that are made public. We are not whistleblowers.”

“Come on, come on,” Macron added.

The letter and France's response were the latest crossing of swords in what has become an increasingly fractious relationship between the erstwhile European partners who are struggling to rebuild a working relationship in the wake of Britain's exit from the EU. They're arguing not only about migration but also about their post-Brexit agreements, including regulating fishing in waters where British and French boats both work.

Adding to the climate of tension were blockades that French fishing crews were planning Friday of French ports and traffic under the English Channel to disrupt the flow of goods to the UK and increase pressure on Britain for more post-Brexit fishing licenses.

The spat over Johnson's letter had an immediate, concrete repercussion: Macron's government spokesman said Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel was no longer welcome at a meeting Sunday of European ministers who'll explore ways to crack down on migrant-smuggling networks.

The spokesman, Gabriel Attal, portrayed Johnson's proposals as duplicitous, saying the letter “doesn’t correspond at all” with discussions that Johnson and Macron had Wednesday after the sinking of an inflatable craft laden with migrants, the deadliest migrant tragedy to date in the English Channel.

“We are sick of double-speak,” Attal said.

He dismissed the proposal that France take back migrants who cross illegally from French shores to Britain as “clearly not what we need to solve this problem."

Johnson also set out proposals that France has already rejected for British border officials to begin patrols on the beaches of northern France as early as next week. He also recommended joint or reciprocal maritime patrols in each other’s territorial waters and airborne surveillance by manned flights and drones.

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Johnson made the proposals in “good faith.” He urged France to reconsider the decision to dis-invite Patel to Sunday's ministers' meeting. They are convening in Calais, one of French coastal towns where migrants gravitate to in their attempts to get across the busy stretch of sea separating France and Britain. It was also one of the ports being targeted Friday for blockades by French fishermen.

“I don’t think there is anything inflammatory to ask for close co-operation with our nearest neighbours,” Shapps told BBC radio. “The proposal was made in good faith. I can assure our French friends of that and I hope that they will reconsider meeting up to discuss it.”

Others in Johnson's Conservative Party were less conciliatory.

Tim Loughton, a lawmaker from Johnson’s Conservative Party, accused France of being petulant in its response to Johnson’s letter.

“The French have got to get real and recognise there are consequences from turning a blind eye rather than stopping the migrant boats at source and those consequences are tragedies like the one two days ago,” he said on Twitter. “Partnership working is the only way to find a solution not petulance.”

The deaths of 27 men, women and children in the dangerous waterway have brought to a head long-simmering French-British tensions that have sharpened in recent months.

UK officials have criticized France for rejecting their offer of British police and border officers to conduct joint patrols along the channel coast with French police. French authorities accuse Britain of stoking migration by ignoring the use by British employers of clandestine workers who crossed the Channel illegally.

More than 23,000 people have already entered the UK on small boats this year, up from 8,500 last year and just 300 in 2018, according to data compiled by the British Parliament.

By Associated Press writers Danica Kirka, John Leicester and Pan Pylas, with Leicester reporting from Le Pecq, France, and Pylas from London.

North Korea destroyed the liaison office with the South; Beijing imposed coronavirus restrictions; France backs away from chokehold ban

North Korea destroyed the liaison office with the South; Beijing imposed coronavirus restrictions; France backs away from chokehold ban

The World staff

A smoke rises from Kaesong Industrial Complex in this picture taken from the south in Paju, South Korea, June 16, 2020.


Yonhap via Reuters


Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

In a dramatic escalation of tensions, North Korea blew up the liaison office used to improve relations with South Korea on Tuesday. Surveillance video released by South Korea’s Ministry of Defence showed the building, located in the border town of Kaesong, in a large explosion that appeared to bring down the four-story structure. The office, which effectively served as a de facto embassy for the two countries, has been closed since January due to the novel coronavirus.

The destruction of the office adds to tensions that have been rising over recent weeks, as North Korea has threatened to cut ties with the South for what it says is retaliation over propaganda leaflets critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that have been sent over the border by human rights activists. The liaison office between the North and the South was established in 2018 as part of a series of projects aimed at reducing tensions.

What The World is following

In a move to stop a flare-up of new coronavirus cases, Beijing has imposed restrictions on public transport and banned high-risk people, such as those in close contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19, from leaving the city. The new outbreak in China’s capital, where more than 100 cases have been reported since Thursday, has been traced to a large wholesale food center in the southwest of the city. 

Three Indian soldiers were killed today in a confrontation with Chinese troops in the disputed border region of Kashmir. They are the first casualties in decades to result from a clash between India and China in the disputed border region. The two nuclear powers have been locked in a standoff for weeks over boundary disputes.

France is now backing away from an ban on police use of chokeholds announced last week. France reversed course on the ban after officers voiced concerns that the move would threaten their lives. France had announced the ban after weeks of protests following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, which for many recalled the similar death of Adama Traoré in police custody in France in 2016.

From The WorldWhy many in public health support anti-racism protests — with some precautions amid coronavirus

Visitors look at a memorial at the site of the arrest of George Floyd, who died while in police custody, in Minneapolis, June 14, 2020.


Eric Miller/Reuters 

Many health care workers say the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism are intertwined. So when protests erupted across the globe in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, many health professionals understood the public outcry, despite the risks of being in large crowds.

When ‘oh, fudge’ won’t do: Researchers find benefits to swearing

Researchers at the Swear Lab at Keele University in the UK have studied the benefits of swearing. 



When you stub your toe, there’s nothing like letting out a string of expletives. But it turns out, there’s more to this release than you might think. Researchers have found that swearing can actually increase a person’s pain tolerance — and no, you can’t substitute in a PG equivalent like “Oh fudge!” Only the real thing will do.

Morning meme

What should replace recently toppled statues in the US, Britain and elsewhere? One suggestion that gained some viral traction on social media recently — air dancers.

Retweet if we should temporarily replace all racist monuments with air dancers while we build new non-racist monuments!

— Jack (@GayLaVie) June 10, 2020In case you missed itListen: Public health consequences of protests during a pandemic

People wearing masks and holding signs kneel during a Black Lives Matter protest in Trafalgar Square in London, Britain, June 5, 2020.


Toby Melville/Reuters

Thousands have taken to the streets around the world to protest police brutality and systemic racism. But many public health experts are not as distressed about these large demonstrations as one might think. And, as the US targets the International Criminal Court with sanctions, the court makes a breakthrough in Sudan. Also, a team of psychology researchers in the UK has found that swearing can increase a person’s pain tolerance.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

In France, the killing of George Floyd invokes the memory of Adama Traoré

In France, the killing of George Floyd invokes the memory of Adama Traoré

George Floyd’s killing sparked protests across the world. In France, it reignited calls for justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old French Malian man who died in police custody almost four years ago.

Lucy Martirosyan

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Assa Traoré, sister of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old, black Frenchman who died in 2016 during police detention, poses during an interview with Reuters in Beaumont-sur-Oise, near Paris, June 7, 2020. 


Lucien Libert/Reuters


The death George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man killed by a white police officer on camera late last month in Minneapolis, has sparked protests in cities across the world, including Amsterdam, Seoul and London.

In France, Floyd’s death has reignited calls for justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old French Malian man who died in police custody in a Paris suburb almost four years ago.

Over the weekend, more than 23,000 people across France continued to pay homage to both Traoré and Floyd, denouncing systemic racism and police brutality in a dozen cities including Lyon, Lille, Nice, Bordeaux and Metz. Fearing violence, French police banned protests in front of the US Embassy and on the Champ de Mars lawns in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday.

Related: Protesters worldwide face controversial police tactics

French President Emmanuel Macron asked Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to accelerate propositions for improving France’s police code of ethics. It’s a request Macron said he’s been demanding since the gilets jaunes or “yellow vests” protests against pension reforms in January.

In a press conference on Monday, Castaner announced that French law enforcement would abandon the policing technique known as le plaquage ventral, or “ventral plating,” a method of forceful detainment that involves “the strangulation” of the neck. Castaner also said he would request the suspension of officers involved in suspected racism, referring to an investigation into racist messages allegedly exchanged by police officers in a private Facebook group of nearly 8,000 members.

For the first time since Traoré’s death in 2016, Macron also asked Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet to look into the case.

Related: Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

During last Tuesday’s protests in Paris, Assa Traoré, Adama Traoré’s older sister, drew parallels between Floyd and her brother, saying the two black men died the same way in the hands of police.

“Tonight, this fight is no longer just the fight of the Traoré family, it’s everyone’s struggle,” Assa Traoré said. “We are fighting for our brother, in the US, George Floyd, and for Adama.”

The French capital alone garnered support from crowds of more than 20,000 people, defying a ban on large gatherings during the country’s COVID-19 state of emergency. 

On the same day, June 2, Castaner defended the police, criticizing peaceful protests that turned violent. In a tweet, he said that violence has no place in a democracy. And he congratulated the police for “their control and composure.”

La violence n’a pas sa place en démocratie.
Rien ne justifie les débordements survenus ce soir à Paris, alors que les rassemblements de voie publique sont interdits pour protéger la santé de tous.
Je félicite les forces de sécurité & secours pour leur maîtrise et leur sang-froid.

— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) June 2, 2020

A protester is detained during a banned demonstration in memory of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to the killing of George Floyd in the United States, on the Place de la Republique in Lille, France, June 4, 2020. 


Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Since her brother’s death, Assa Traoré launched Truth for Adama, an organization that has been trying to prove that Adama Traoré died by asphyxiation at the hands of the French police.

Related: The parallels of police violence in the US and around the world 

On July 19, 2016, French gendarmes — a military force within law enforcement in France — stopped Adama Traoré as he was riding his bike with his brother on the streets of Beaumont-sur-Oise. Adama Traoré, who didn’t have his identification card on him, ran away fearing arrest. Identity checks are part of legislation in France to clamp down on illegal immigration, and police are known to abuse this practice against any person of color in Parisian suburbs. 

Officers chased him down and forcibly detained him. While transported to the police station, Adama Traoré’s condition worsened. He died that evening in police custody while his family was waiting for him at home to celebrate his 24th birthday.

A French court ruled that the gendarmes had no involvement in Adama Traoré’s death and that he died due to underlying health conditions and heart failure.

While the officers involved in the case were exonerated this month, a new, independent report requested by the Traoré family released last week said he died by “positional asphyxiation” — contradicting the original autopsy.

Yassine Bouzrou, the lawyer representing the Traoré family, said that the police used the ventral plating technique where, Bouzrou says, three officers pinned him down onto his stomach with their full weight on top of him — totaling 551 pounds.

Related: ‘No justice, no peace’: Thousands in London protest

“When he was arrested, it was extremely violent. He was crushed by the weight of police officers on top of him. … [Adama Traoré] said he couldn’t breathe.”

Yassine Bouzrou, lawyer, France

“When he was arrested, it was extremely violent. He was crushed by the weight of police officers on top of him,” Bouzrou said. “[Adama Traoré] said he couldn’t breathe.”

Adama Traoré’s death resonates especially with black French people and Maghrebis — North Africans — living in Parisian suburbs who say they feel targeted by police.

“The way people are treated at the banlieue [suburb], it’s like a map,” said Franco Lollia, an Afro Caribbean activist with the Brigade for Anti-Negrophobia in Paris, through an interpreter. “You could compare it to redlining in the United States.”

Redlining was banned more than 50 years ago in the US, but reports say that it reinforced segregation and economic disparities that persist in these cities today. 

According to a 2012 report by Human Rights Watch, young black or Arab French people living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in French cities are more likely to be stopped by the police, suggesting that the gendarmes and police in France engage in racial and ethnic profiling.

Related: Human rights should be ‘top value,’ says Ukraine’s former police chief

Lollia, who founded his group in 2005, says there is a psychological, implicit bias that exists against people of color in Parisian suburbs, which ultimately perpetuates systemic racism.

When Adama Traoré died that summer nearly four years ago, his death became a rallying call in the suburbs of Paris against police brutality. That July, in 2016, protests lasted for several days in the French capital, with some violent clashes between civilians and police. People in France were starting to make connections to the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, Lollia said, drawing parallels to Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner, who also said, “I can’t breathe.”

A protester holds a sign during a banned demonstration in memory of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to the death of George Floyd in the United States, on the Place de la Republique in Lille, France, June 4, 2020.


Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Lollia connected Traoré’s case to that of Floyd, — but with one major distinction.

“What happened to George Floyd was on camera. What happened to Adama was not on film. … So, if I may say so, they didn’t get the chance to get the death on video. This is how cynical the situation gets for us to prove our innocence. It has to be taped.”

Franco Lollia, activist, Brigade for AntiNegrophobia, Paris, France

“What happened to George Floyd was on camera. What happened to Adama was not on film,” Lollia said. “So, if I may say so, they didn’t get the chance to get the death on video. This is how cynical the situation gets for us to prove our innocence. It has to be taped.”

Bouzrou agrees that there are many similarities between the two cases.

“The first point in common is that both [Floyd and Traoré] died by the ‘ventral plating’ technique, with police officers on top of their backs,” Bouzrou said. “Three police officers were on top of Floyd. And three gendarmes on top of Adama Traoré. The second point in common — they both said they couldn’t breathe. The third point in common is that, in both cases, the first [autopsy] claimed that they died because of a heart attack — Traoré and Floyd. [Fourth,] thanks to independent reports, the real cause of death was found — that is to say, the death was caused by the arrests.”

And finally, Bouzrou said, Adama Traoré and George Floyd were both victims of being black men.

Meanwhile, France’s Police Union official, Yves Lefebvre, insists the two cases are different. According to the BBC, he warned that France’s banlieues were like a pressure cooker, “ready to explode.”

Even though this new report supports Assa Traoré’s claim that her brother was killed by officers, Bouzrou is not hopeful.

Ultimately, he says, President Macron has supported the Paris prosecutor’s office that first suggested Adama Traoré died because of preexisting conditions.

“For us, this position is political because it comes from Macron,” he said.

As for Assa Traoré and her family, Bouzrou says they won’t feel justice is served for Adama Traoré until people fight for it.

“We have to fight and denounce this judicial scandal,” Bouzrou said.

US may be violating international law in its response to protesters, UN expert says

US may be violating international law in its response to protesters, UN expert says

International human rights advocates observing how the US is handling the protests have said the US may be violating international law. The World spoke to UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard on the use of force by US police.

The World staff

Stephen Snyder

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A Seattle police officer wears a “mourning band” for fallen officers over his badge, obscuring the badge number, as Seattle police guard the department headquarters downtown during a rally and march calling for a defunding of Seattle police, in Seattle, Washington, on June 3, 2020.


Reuters/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo


In cities across the United States this past week, protesters have been confronted by police carrying shields and batons and hulking armored vehicles that might look to some people like a scene straight out of a war zone.

Widespread protests against racial inequalities and excessive use of force by police following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis with a white policeman’s knee on his neck have revived a debate about equipment and tactics used by police around the United States that critics say should be confined to a battlefield. Meanwhile, international human rights advocates observing how the US is handling the protests have said the US may be violating international law in its sometimes violent response. 

Agnes Callamard is the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions as well as the director of Global Freedom of Expression at Columbia University. She led the definitive investigation into the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Callamard joined The World’s host Marco Werman from outside Avignon, France. 

Related: Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad

Marco Werman: Madame Callamard, civil rights groups are now suing the Trump administration for violating the constitutional rights of demonstrators. You’ve been watching events on the streets of the US this week from France. Are you seeing violations of international law? 

Oh, yes, I have. At least on the basis of the videos that I have watched and the reporting that I have read, there appears to be repeated violations of international law — in particular of two principles that should guide the use of force by police in terms of handling protest: necessity and proportionality. I have seen misuse of so-called “less-lethal weapons” from rubber bullets to batons to tear gas. I have seen the use of “less-lethal techniques,” which have become very harmful, if not lethal, in at least the case of Mr. Floyd. So yes, unfortunately, at the moment, based on what we can watch on our screen and what we can read in our newspaper, there is a pattern of violations committed by police force in handling the protest. 

Related: Tear gas has been banned in warfare. Why do police still use it?

So you’ve noticed the tear gas and the rubber bullets. How do police assaults on reporters in Minneapolis and Washington, DC, not to mention attacks on demonstrators — how do those compare with what we see in other countries? 

Look, the one thing I should say is that unfortunately, the US does not stand out when it comes to those forms of violations. The scale of those violations is unusual, but the nature of the violation is not. So throughout 2019, I have received countless allegations of similar misuse of tear gas or rubber bullets in other contexts, including in Europe, in Chile, in the Middle East. So from that standpoint, unfortunately, there is a global phenomenon of police misusing so-called less-lethal weapons in ways that are either making them lethal or making their use so indiscriminatory that it amounts to a violation. 

So what or who are the authorities internationally and what are they thinking about how to respond to what’s happening in the US? 

First of all, in the US and globally, I will say there is an increasing awareness within the international community, the human rights community, and also the police community, that the so-called less-lethal weapons are no panacea. There is a reasonable factor as to why we need them, because they give police a range of options in terms of handling difficult situations. And that is something that is welcomed. 

We certainly do not want the police to have only recourse to a firearm when confronted with a difficult situation. So the range of options that those less-lethal weapons constitute is welcome. But in order to meet their purposes, which is to police in an effective and safe fashion, they have to be used to properly. And what we are seeing is the repeated misuse, the absence of proper guidelines and regulations, legal frameworks which are enshrining excessive use of force and impunity. That is particularly the case in the US because of the qualified immunity doctrine which is applied to police officers. This is why I and others have called for an end of the doctrine. That will be of first essential step towards addressing the systemic impunity that is attached to excessive use of force. The second is proper regulations regarding those the less-lethal weapons. And the third is proper training attached to those less-lethal weapons.  

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Reuters contributed to this report. 

Sean Slick – Note To Self Lyrics

At 14
I had a dream
To make Gs
With words I speak
And if that meant
To decease beats
My murder charge
Would be complete
See being young
Man had plans
To stack grands
And fly to France
Have many lands
On sea and sand
And many fans
To see me stand
On stages
With races
Of people
Just racing
And saying
He famous
But my aim
Wasn’t based
Been watched
With them cameras
Or photo shoots
On calendars
Just tours please
Pretty ladies
Living happily
Ever after
I’m willing
Take chances
On this trap shit
, make hits with these rackets
More commas in them brackets
Take step backs
Through setbacks
Could leave me
Kinda stranded
With thoughts of
Living lavish
In a kingdom
Or a palace
More times
I m
Just grinding
Slicks firing
New rhymes in
About buying
The finest
Two islands
With assets

In Africa
Or bank accounts
In Sweden
I’m feeling
This season
To start
A new team in
Trend setters
Stack cheddar
Stick together
Born better
No pressure
The dynasty
Reigns forever
Mindset says probably
Take chances
Like the lottery
Ain’t stagnant
Or nonchalant
Work rate
Is done properly
Stay righteous
When I write this
f*cking tyrants
So gas talk is just statements
To be ya highness
Not Buckingham
But I’m upperclass
If she’s bucking me, Then
‘I m touching arse
With my thoughtspan with learnt rhymes
I I’m either cruising
Or running Past
Die enormous
Or live dormant
Word to Jigga
That’s how we on it
Better inform them
Or we ignore em
,time wasting is not important
See me fam
I gotta rep the place
That’s SE to the 28
Like QueensBridge to Nasir
That’s SouthEast to Sean here

A 26-year manhunt for Rwandan genocide fugitive ends

A 26-year manhunt for Rwandan genocide fugitive ends

Halima Gikandi

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Dimitrie Sissi Mukanyiligira, a Rwandan genocide survivor looks at a laptop computer with the webpage showing the pictures of the Rwandan genocide fugitive Félicien Kabuga, as she takes part in a Reuters interview in Kigali, Rwanda, May 18, 2020. 


Jean Bizimana/Reuters


The 26-year hunt for Félicien Kabuga —  spanning two continents and lasting more than two decades — has finally come to an end. On Saturday morning, French police arrested the now 84-year-old Rwandan genocide fugitive from his apartment in a suburb of Paris.

“Félicien Kabuga has always been one of the most wanted fugitives. … He has always been considered as being one of the masterminds in relation to the genocide.”

 Serge Brammertz,  chief prosecutor, United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

“Félicien Kabuga has always been one of the most wanted fugitives,” Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), told The World in an interview Monday. “He has always been considered as being one of the masterminds in relation to the genocide.” 

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In 1997, Kabuga was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on seven counts of genocide and related crimes. His alleged role includes financing the 1994 genocide, arming militia groups, and heading a hate-filled radio station, Radio Télévision Mille Collines.

Genocide survivors such as Naphtal Ahishakiye, 46, still remember the words of hate on the radio. “Tutsi is the biggest enemy of Rwanda. Of Hutu. So the radio considered Tutsi as the animals, cockroaches,” he recalled hearing.

Ahishakiye is the executive secretary of Ibuka, a group for genocide survivors. Growing up as a Tutsi, he remembers the day-to-day discrimination by majority Hutu elites beginning long before 1994. 

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After spending 100 days hiding at neighbors’ homes and in the forest, only he and two sisters survived — the rest of his family died, including his parents, brothers and cousins, he said. At least 800,000 people are estimated to have been killed, the majority of them Tutsis.

While the ICTR officially concluded in 2015, ongoing cases were turned over to the IRMCT — now led by Brammertz — and continued to pursue Kabuga. 

“We can never give up looking for those fugitives,” said Brammertz, speaking about the international community. 

Previous attempts to capture Kabuga have failed, most notably a plot by the FBI and Kenyan authorities in 2003, which resulted in the death of an informant in Nairobi. The US has had a $5 million bounty on the fugitive. 

Two years ago, Brammertz established a new task force to track down Kabuga in partnership with European authorities. 

“We start[ed] where we were sure he was seen for the last time, which was in 2007 when he underwent surgery in Germany,” Brammertz said. He and his team began tracing Kabuga’s steps through Belgium and Luxembourg, identifying people who were likely to have helped him hide.

“Based on the analysis, phone profiles, financial information, we concluded two months ago that it was very likely that it was in a specific area in Paris,” Brammertz said.

“We are happy for France to facilitate this process to arrest Kabuga.  … In previous years, France didn’t play a role in this kind of justice.”

Naphtal Ahishakiye, executive secretary, Ibuka group for genocide survivors, Rwanda

“We are happy for France to facilitate this process to arrest Kabuga,” Ahishakiye said. “In previous years, France didn’t play a role in this kind of justice.”

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Indeed, the relationship between Rwanda and France has been strained by accusations that France was complicit in the genocide, an accusation it has historically denied. Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron directed a panel of experts to investigate France’s role in the genocide.

According to Brammertz, Kabuga will be transferred to the Mechanism Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, or The Hague, depending on travel restrictions that might exist due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When it comes to an actual trial, “it’s more likely that it takes closer to a year,” Brammertz said.