France

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Macron accuses Anglophone media to not understand French laïcité and legitimising Islamistic terrorism
Macron accuses Anglophone media to not understand French laïcité and legitimising Islamistic terrorism
Credit: ActuaLitté / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

French President Emmanuel Macron criticized the Anglophone media for their suggestion that the core issue on hand is not violence from Islamists, but the racism and Islamophobia in France.

Macron states that the Anglophone media seems to him not able to understand one of the core principles of the French republic, laïcité. France will not give up its special brand of secularism and freedom of speech, which very much includes every kind of satire, Macron says.

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Covid-19 lockdown in France: Supermarkets must also close certain departments
Covid-19 lockdown in France: Supermarkets must also close certain departments
Credit: unsplash.com / Barthelemy de Mazenod (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

In response to criticism from small shops that are forced to close down during the second in the Covid-19 lockdown, supermarkets also need to close certain sections selling for example books, clothes and household appliances. Many local and regional politicians have criticised the new Covid-19 rule on the closure of shops selling non-essential products because it leads to inequalities. Only vital sectors of the economy, the civil service and schools up to secondary level may remain open.

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Macron calls attack in Nice an Islamist terrorist attack
Macron calls attack in Nice an Islamist terrorist attack
Credit: Periscope (Reproduction)

The knife attack in Nice, which left three people dead, was an "Islamist terrorist attack," according to French head of state Emmanuel Macron.

According to initial police reports, he killed a 70-year-old woman and the parish assistant. A second woman, also injured in the neck, managed to escape to a neighboring bar, but died there shortly thereafter.

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Compulsory masks for schoolchildren aged 6 and over in France
Compulsory masks for schoolchildren aged 6 and over in France
Credit: unsplash.com / Kelly Sikkema

France makes masks mandatory in class for schoolchildren aged six and over, PM Castex said. Up until now, masks were only mandatory for children aged 11 and older.

"From Monday, when children return to school, the sanitary protocol will be made stricter. The requirement to wear a face mask will be extended to primary school children over the age of six."

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Knife attack in Nice near Notre Dame

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, has confirmed that a knife attack has happened in the Notre Dame sector.

The attacker has been arrested and people are asked to avoid the area.

Further backgrounds and the number of casualties and their conditions are still unkown.

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Macron orders France into second national Covid-19 lockdown
French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron Credit: Twitter Reproduction

"Hospitals won’t manage if we don’t take drastic measures,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in a prime-time televised address Wednesday, when he announced new lockdown measures for France.

Macron said that under the new measures, starting on Friday, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons, that EU borders would still be open. Still, travel between regions in the country is banned.

The French government had been loath to impose a new lockdown that will pummel the economy even harder, and business chiefs have warned a total shutdown will force another wave of layoffs and bankruptcies.

Governments across Europe have been under fire for lack of coordination and for failing to use a lull in cases over the summer to bolster defences, leaving hospitals unprepared and forcing people on to packed public transport to get to work.

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PM Castex: French hospitals at capacity by Nov 11th
André Chassaigne
André Chassaigne Credit: André Chassaigne

The ICU of French hospitals will be at capacity levels with Coronavirus patients by November 11th, assuming the current surge in cases can't be contained.

Lawmaker André Chassaigne told reporters: "He [PM Jean Castex] told us that on 11 November, our hospitals will be at a saturation level equivalent to that of the first wave, so a level of extreme saturation. So the situation is particularly serious. If we can’t flatten the curve, in the next 15 days, our hospitals won’t be able to treat patients."

No measures were discussed.

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Samuel Paty received the French Légion d’Honneur posthumously

Samuel Paty, the teacher decapitated in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, has been posthumously awarded the Légion d’honneur.

On October 21, during a private ceremony in the Sorbonne university, President Emmanuel Macron bestowed the country’s highest honour on the family of Paty.

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France reports more than 20,000 Covid-19 infections in a day
Paris during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

After a lower number on Monday, France again reported more than 20,000 new Covid-19 cases in a day: 20,468. The total number of cases is now at 930,745 and its expected to break the 1 million mark before Saturday.

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Rallies held across France to support beheaded teacher Samuel Paty
Samuel Paty
Samuel Paty Credit: Samuel Paty (Reproduction Facebook)

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of France on Sunday in support of Samuel Paty, the teacher beheaded after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to his pupils.

A protester carried a sign reading "zero tolerance to all enemies of the Republic", another "I am a professor. I'm thinking of you, Samuel."

Over Twitter, the hashtag #JeSuisSamuel was being used to express support for the late teacher.

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Murdered teacher had been target of threats

The French teacher who was brutally murdered in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine had been the target of threats prior to his death, France's anti-terrorism prosecutorJean-François Ricard said.

The suspect is an 18-year-old Chechen born refugee living in France. Before the attack, he had asked pupils to point out his victim.

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Macron says Paris beheading was an "Islamist terrorist attack"
Macron says Paris beheading was an "Islamist terrorist attack"
Credit: Jacques Paquier (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

French President Emmanuel Macron has publicly said the beheading of a teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine was an "Islamist terrorist attack". Macron said the teacher, who has yet to be named, was killed because he "taught freedom of expression."

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A history and geography teacher beheaded near Paris

The victim had made a recent intervention in class about freedom of speech where he mentioned the Muhammad cartoons controversy, which pushed the National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor's Office to take over the investigation.

The assaillant has been shot by the police.

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Paris and other cities impose 9 pm curfew
Paris and other cities impose 9 pm curfew
Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a curfew for Paris region and several other French cities. Under the curfew, people must be at home between 9 pm and 6 am. If curfew is broken, people will face a fine of €135. The curfew will last for up to four weeks, depending on Coronavirus cases.

Other cities include: Rouen, Lille, St Etienne, Lyon, Grenoble, Montpellier, Marseille and Toulouse

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France sets a new daily record with more than 26,000 new Covid-19 cases
France sets a new daily record with more than 26,000 new Covid-19 cases
Credit: Polymagou (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

France's ministry of health reported Saturday 26,896 new Covid-19 infections, the biggest daily number since the start of the outbreak. The ministry also reported 54 deaths in the same period.

The cumulative number of cases in the country is 718,873, with a death toll of 32,684.

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France decides to return art treasures to Benin and Senegal
Statue of King Béhanzin
Statue of King Béhanzin Credit: Ji-Elle (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The French National Assembly has approved a restitution law for the return of art treasures. France now plans to return 26 statues and other works of art from the so-called treasure of Béhanzin to Benin. The treasures were previously on display at the Paris Museum of Non-European Art. Furthermore, a sabre will be returned to Senegal, which was previously on display in the Paris Army Museum.

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Bars and restaurants to be shut in four more cities in France
Lyon Restaurants
Lyon Restaurants Credit: Pedro Szekely (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

After Marseille and Paris, the cities of Lyon, Lille, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne will close their bars and restaurants from Saturday.

The maximum-alert level in the country comes into effect when infection rates in a locality exceed 250 cases per 100,000 people, and at least 30% of intensive care beds are reserved for Covid-19 patients.

The French government announced the measures as the country had a near-record of 18,129 new cases in a day.

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Four homeless men win the lottery with gifted scratchcard in France

Four homeless people in the French city of Brest won 50,000 euros with a scratchcard handed to them. The four men were begging outside a lottery shop when a departing customer handed them a scratchcard purchased for one euro.

The French lottery operator FDJ released a statement that said: "What a surprise for the four young men when they discovered a win not of five euros, but 50,000 euros."

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Overseas territory New Caledonia decides to stay with France in independence referendum
Overseas territory New Caledonia decides to stay with France in independence referendum
Credit: TUBS / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The inhabitants of the French overseas territory New Caledonia spoke out on Sunday for the second time after 2018 against a separation from France. In the referendum in the South Pacific archipelago east of Australia, 53.3 percent of voters voted to stay, according to official figures, while 46.7 percent were in favor of independence. In 2018, 56.4 percent were still opposed to secession.

Voter turnout was again very high, at around 85 percent. About 180,000 New Caledonians were allowed to participate.

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Paris: 4 wounded in knife attack near ex-Charlie Hebdo site

Four people were wounded in a knife attack Friday near the former offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and two assailants are on the run, police said.

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France reports daily record of Covid-19 cases
Paris Place Charles de Gaulle  during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris Place Charles de Gaulle during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The French health authorities reported 13,498 new confirmed Covid-19 cases Saturday, a new record for daily cases. Since the beginning of the outbreak 442,194 were infected in the country.

France also reported 29 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 31,274.

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Marseille, Bordeaux: Stricter Coronavirus measures to curb spread of virus
Bordeaux, France during lockdown in March, 2020
Bordeaux, France during lockdown in March, 2020 Credit: Patrice CALATAYU from Bordeaux, France / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Marseille and Bordeaux announced stricter measures to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus. Work from home should be implemented wherever possible. Public transport companies are asked to reorganise to prevent overcrowding during rush hours. Major events are ordered to cancel or postpone. Sale of alcohol on the street after 8pm is now also forbidden in Marseille.

Christophe Mirmand, the government’s top official in greater Marseille area: "The virus has accelerated despite the obligation to wear a mask introduced earlier this summer. We need to take action to ensure health services can cope."

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"Clear worsening" of Coronavirus spread in France, 42 départements on "red" alert
"Clear worsening" of Coronavirus spread in France, 42 départements on "red" alert
Credit: unsplash.com/Camille Brodard

France recorded almost 10,000 new Coronavirus cases on Thursday – highest daily record since March. 42 départements are now put on 'red' alert. The French government is currently avoiding tougher restrictions even though the Coronavirus is "circulating more and more"

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that testing for priority cases will be fast-tracked and additional testers will be recruited. Mandatory quarantine for people who have tested positive is down to seven days instead of fourteen. 

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French new Covid-19 cases at a record high
Paris Champs-Élysées during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris Champs-Élysées during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

France reported 9,843 new Covid-19 infections Thursday, the highest single-day total since the start of the outbreak.

The French Government will hold a cabinet meeting on Friday with President Emmanuel Macron stating he hopes any new measures would not be too restrictive.

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Emmanuel Macron refuses to condemn Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Prophet Mohammad
Emmanuel Macron in 2017 - adaption: Added background and blur
Emmanuel Macron in 2017 - adaption: Added background and blur Credit: Presidencia de la República Mexicana (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The president defended citizens' right to freedom of speech. His remarks came as the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, the target of a massacre by gunmen in 2015, said it was republishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday it was not his place to pass judgment on the decision by Charlie Hebdo to publish a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad.

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Charlie Hebdo to reprint Prophet Mohammed cartoons ahead of trial
Flowers, candles, pens and many drawings and anonymous sketches remembering the people who died at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.
Flowers, candles, pens and many drawings and anonymous sketches remembering the people who died at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters. Credit: Patrizia Torres (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo announced Tuesday it would republish cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed to mark the start of the trial stemming from the massacre committed at its Paris offices in 2015.

Charlie Hebdo editor Laurent "Riss" Sourisseau wrote on the latest edition of the magazine: "We will never live down. We will never give up."

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Spain reports 7,039 infections on Tuesday, 3,349 in last 24 hours
Fernando Simón
Fernando Simón Credit: Patria De Todos (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Spanish Health Department has notified 7,039 new infections on Thursday, 3,349 in the last 24 hours.

Fernando Simón, director of the Ministry of Health's Emergency and Health Alert Coordination Centre, stated that "at a national level we cannot say that the epidemic is out of control. Although in some specific points, we can".

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Europe urges France to ban glue trap for birds

France is one of the last country to maintain a traditional hunting practice of coating branches with glue to capture birds. As it is against European laws, France might face significant fines, hence the new French government is currently considering outlawing this practice.

Hunting lobby is vigorously protesting and denounces a new persecution against hunters.

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People in France will be fined €135 if they fail to wear mask in public places indoors
People in France will be fined €135 if they fail to wear mask in public places indoors
Credit: unsplash.com/Marco Testi

The French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces will be compulsory from next week on, tying it to a fine of €135 if people fail to comply. This expansion of the mandatory mask requirements comes after an increase in Covid-19 cases has been noted and comes in addition to the existing requirement of wearing masks on public transportation.

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France: Mandatory masks in public indoor places
Women wearing face masks on public transport
Women wearing face masks on public transport Credit: unsplash.com/Marco Testi

Face masks will be mandatory in public indoor places starting next week. Until now, masks have been compulsory on public transport and in public spaces where an adequate distance couldn't be maintained.