France

Politics • Middle Eastern
Lebanon: $300 million fund pledged by world leaders
Damages of the Beirut explosion
Damages of the Beirut explosion Credit: Mehr News Agency / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

A nearly $300 million fund in humanitarian assistance has been pledged by world leaders to Lebanon and its people. During a virtual conference, led by France's Macron, over 30 world leaders pledged and offered their support for country and the people of Beirut. The "assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency."

Climate & Environment
Mauritius: Satellite image show ship spilling fuel; environmental emergency declared
MV Wakashio
MV Wakashio Credit: Nagashiki Shipping

The Japanese vessel MV Wakashio ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25th. It was reportedly carrying 4000 tons of fuel. New satellite images from Friday show dark oil spreading in the turquoise waters, near an area that is "very sensitive" according to the Mauritian.

The coasts wildlife has been brought from the island Ile aux Aigrettes to the mainland to avoid contact with the oil. Greenpeace reports that "thousands of species around the pristine lagoons of Blue Bay, Pointe d'Esny and Mahebourg are at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius' economy, food security and health." The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation is asking why authorities haven't acted earlier. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has asked France for help because Mauritius "doesn't have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships."

The weather has made work on the ship nearly impossible. Jugnauth worries "hat could happen Sunday when the weather deteriorates" and the oil pushes to the mainland's shore.

Volunteers have started building makeshift barriers.

Politics • European • France
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.

Sports • Soccer
PSG beats Lyon and takes the French League Cup
PSG beats Lyon and takes the French League Cup
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

For the fourth time in six years, PSG celebrated a domestic treble after beating Lyon on penalties to win the French League cup title. The game was played at the Stade de France and watched by about 5,000 supporters.

After the first 10 penalties were scored, PSG keeper Keylor Navas saved from Bertrand Traore before Pablo Sarabia scored the winning kick.

It was the final French League Cup competition, with the decision made last September to cancel the tournament after this season.

Lifestyle • Religion
Volunteer admits to have started fire at Nantes cathedral
Organ in the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Nantes previous to the fire
Organ in the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Nantes previous to the fire Credit: Jordiferrer (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

After being questioned by the police and released without charges a volunteer at the cathedral in Nantes has confessed to arson. No motive has been given as to why the volunteer warden has started the fire, but his lawyer has stated that he felt "relief" after confessing to the police.

The fire has destroyed the cathedral's 17th Century organ and multiple historically valuable stained windows of stained glass, but the fire brigade has managed to put the fire out before the main structure could be destroyed.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Actress Olivia de Havilland has died aged 104
Screenshot of Olivia de Havilland from the trailer for the film Gone with the Wind
Screenshot of Olivia de Havilland from the trailer for the film Gone with the Wind Credit: Public domain

Actress and two-time Academy Award winner Olivia de Havilland has died peacefully from natural causes in her Paris Home on July 26. She was 104 years old. De Havilland made her debut in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", but was best known for her role as Melanie Hamilton in the 1939 movie classic "Gone With The Wind" and was considered as one of the movie stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

In the 1950s, she moved to Paris and received the National Medal of the Arts and France's Légion d'Honneur. She was also appointed to Dome Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Art & Design
France: Restoration of Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes likely to take "at least three years"
Nave of the cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul in Nantes: pulpit, western bay window and great organ.
Nave of the cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul in Nantes: pulpit, western bay window and great organ. Credit: © Guillaume Piolle (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Chief architect Pascal Prunet said in a press conference that the restoration of the 15th century Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes would likely take "at least three years." The exact scope of the damage is currently still being assessed and the total cost is still uncertain. While the main structure of the Cathédrale was saved by firefighters, a 17th-century organ and many artefacts and paintings were destroyed in the fire.

Politics • European • France
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.

Sports • Soccer
France Football announced the Ballon d'Or will not be awarded in 2020
Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

France Football have announced that the Ballon d'Or award will not be handed out in 2020. The decision comes due to the complications caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, which put halted or cancelled the major soccer tournaments.

"For the first time since 1956, the Ballon d’Or will take a break. There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met. We believe that such a singular year cannot -and should not- be treated as an ordinary one." stated France Football in a blog post.

Lifestyle • Religion
Man questioned over Nantes cathedral fire
Man questioned over Nantes cathedral fire
Credit: Fx Bellamy via Twitter

A 39-year-old Rwandan refugee has been arrested in connection with a fire in the 15th century Nantes cathedral. The man worked as a volunteer at the cathedral being in charge of locking up the building on Friday night.

Prosecutor Pierre Sennes said that three fires had been started at the site and that there had been no signs of a break-in.

Lifestyle • Religion
French cathedral in Nantes on fire
French cathedral in Nantes on fire
Credit: Fx Bellamy via Twitter

The fire department of the Départements Loire-Atlantique has reported that the cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes is on fire. 60 fire fighters are combating the fire but according to the fire brigade "The fire is not under control, it is spreading".

Lifestyle • Citytrips
France: Disneyland Paris, Eiffel Tower reopen
View from the Eiffel Tower
View from the Eiffel Tower Credit: unsplash.com/Matt Boitor

Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios have partially reopened on Wednesday after almost four months. Other tourists attractions are also being reopened. The top floor of the Eiffel Tower is now open for visitors but is restricted to maximum of 250 people.

Politics • European • France
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.

Business • Health Care
France: Health care workers get pay rises worth €8 billion
France: Health care workers get pay rises worth €8 billion
Credit: unsplash.com/SJ Objio

France will spend €8 billion in pay rise to health care workers. This results in an average monthly pay increase of €183. The deal was signed by trade unions and both Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Véran. Castex called this deal a "historic moment for our health system".

Technology • Games
Three executives step down amid Ubisoft sexual harassment investigation
Serge Hascoet
Serge Hascoet Credit: Ecole polytechnique (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Ubisoft announced Sunday significant personnel changes related to the sexual harassment investigation the company is conducting. The CCO Serge Hascoet, Canada's managing director Yannis Mallat are leaving the company. The global head of HR Cécile Cornet would step down from her position.

On a press release, Yves Guillemot, CEO and Co-Founder of Ubisoft, said: "Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviours are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised —and never will. I am committed to implementing profound changes across the Company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture,"

Climate & Environment
Greenpeace puts a banner on Notre-Dame de Paris to denounce Emmanuel Macron's climate inaction
Greenpeace puts a banner on Notre-Dame de Paris to denounce Emmanuel Macron's climate inaction
Credit: Greenpeace France (Twitter Reproduction)

Some Greenpeace members climbed to a crane involved in the cathedral rebuilding and deployed a banner urging France president to turn talk into action regarding climate change.

Technology • Internet & Web
Tinder starts testing video dates
Tinder Face to Face screenshots
Tinder Face to Face screenshots Credit: Tinder

Tinder announced Wednesday that it has begun testing the ‘Face to Face’ chat feature in the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Peru and Chile.

In a press release, Tinder says: "We recently surveyed our members in the US, and half of them have had video dates with a match off Tinder in the past month. Not only that, but 40 percent of Gen Z members wanted to continue using video as a way to decide whether to meet IRL in the future - even once their favorite date spot is open again"

The new feature was promised as a way Tinder evolves its business in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Politics • European • France
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigns
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigns
Credit: Mueller / MSC (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Ahead of changes in the French government prime minister Edouard Philippe has resigned from office. President Emmanuel Macron is aiming to change multiple positions in order to win back voters as his popularity has dropped in polls. One of the presidents' main goals is to cater to climate and environmental topics. Edouard Philippe can still be re-appointed as French prime minister as it is expected that the prime minister resigns before a government shuffle.

Politics • European • France
French citizen council decides on climate tax, inland flight ban and other matters
French citizen council decides on climate tax, inland flight ban and other matters
Credit: unsplash.com / Dorian Hurst

The citizen council established by the French president Emmanuel Macron has decided on multiple climate change matters. Following their vote dividends from companies over €10 million should provide a 4% fee for climate purposes, inland flights should be banned from 2025 on, and highway speed limited to 100 kilometres per hour among other decisions. The council is composed of 150 randomly selected people with the aim to represent a miniature France through people that come from different parts of the society and are representative for the demographics of the French population. The decisions are non binding but president Macron has announced that he'll hold a referendum on the questions to amend the constitution to include the protection of the environment and the question if the "ecocide" should be made a criminal offence.

Politics • European • France
French ex-Prime Minister François Fillon found guilty of embezzling public funds
Former French prime minister François Fillon
Former French prime minister François Fillon Credit: European People's Party (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The former French prime minister François Fillon and his wife, Penelope Fillon, were sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds. The conservative politician was found guilty of paying his wife and two of the couple’s children €1.156 million for work they never did as parliamentary aides.

He was sentenced to five years in prison, three of them suspended, and to pay a €375,000 fine. She was given a three-year suspended term.