France

Sports • Soccer
Stephanie Frappart becomes first female referee in the Champions League
Stephanie Frappart becomes first female referee in the Champions League
Credit: El Loko Foto / via Wikimedia Commons

Stephanie Frappart from France is the first woman to whistle the Men's Champions League. The 36-year-old whistled 3-0 in the match between Juventus and Dinamo Kiev and received much praise for her unagitated and assertive performance.

Regional News • Europe • France
Ex-president Giscard d'Estaing dies at 94 of Coronavirus complications
European Council in Maastricht, Giscard d'Estaing at Beek airport
European Council in Maastricht, Giscard d'Estaing at Beek airport Credit: Rob Croes / Anefo, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, president of France from 1974 to 1981, has died at the age of 94 of Coronavirus complications. He died surrounded by his family in his home in central France. Giscard d'Estaing was pro-Europe and liberalised laws on divorce, abortion and contraception during his tenure.

President Emmanuel Macron praised Giscard d'Estaing for transforming France and its direction: "A servant of the state, a politician of progress and freedom, his death has plunged the French nation into mourning."

Business • Markets
Aldi acquires almost 550 stores in France
Aldi acquires almost 550 stores in France
Credit: Psicopatria / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Aldi takes over 547 branches and three central warehouses of its competitor Groupe Casino in France. This is the largest acquisition in the history of the Aldi Nord group, the German group announced. The food discounter estimated the deal at 717 million euros.

Already in March one had delivered a binding offer, now the competition authorities had finally agreed, Aldi communicated. The integration of the markets should be completed by the end of 2021. Most of the stores have been operated under the Leader Price brand to date. According to its own statements, Aldi Nord intends to use the acquisition to expand its market position in France and consolidate its store network there.

Climate & Environment
France introduces Repair Index
France introduces Repair Index
Credit: unsplash.com / Nikolai Chernichenko

As of January 2021, electronic devices will be marked with a repair index at the time of purchase and thus classified. The index is intended to inform buyers about the repair possibilities of the purchased item and is measured on a scale of 1 to 10 based on parameters such as ease of disassembly, as well as price and availability of spare parts.

Regional News • Europe • France
Police violence in Paris: a photographer beaten up during the "March of Liberties"

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Paris and other French cities to protest against the "Global Security" law.

Syrian photographer Ameer al-Halbi, a war correspondent known for his coverage of the fall of Aleppo and winner of a World Press Photo award in 2017, was wounded during a police charge while covering the march on Saturday afternoon, AFP reported.

The "Global Security" law would punish punishes the so-called "malicious" dissemination of the image of police officers, particularly during demonstrations.

Controversy over the law was heightened by the heavy-handed evacuation of a migrant camp in Paris on Monday and the revelation on Thursday of the beating of music producer Michel Zecler by four police officers.

Law
France: High school graduate sentenced to 18 months in prison after death threat against teacher

A French court has sentenced a 19-year-old student to one and a half years in prison for threatening to kill a teacher.

According to the public prosecutor's office in Nice, the 19-year-old had threatened the teacher that he would have to "die like Samuel Paty". The 19-year-old had testified in court that he had only wanted to make a joke to impress a girl and had researched the teacher's address in an online network to send him the death threat after learning that the teacher had accused some of his students of cheating on an exam.

The 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded on 16 October near his school in the Parisian suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine by an 18-year-old Russian of Chechen origin. Paty had previously shown cartoons of Mohammed in an hour's time on freedom of expression. President Emmanuel Macron then defended the showing of cartoons of Muhammad, which led to protests in Muslim countries and calls for a boycott of France.

Regional News • Europe • France
Paris: Thousands gather to protest police violence and the new proposed security law
Paris: Thousands gather to protest police violence and the new proposed security law
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Police fired tear gas in the French capital after thousands of critics of a proposed security law that would restrict sharing images of police officers in France joined a demonstration in Paris.

The crowd included journalists, journalism students, left-wing activists, migrants rights groups and citizens of varied political stripes expressing anger over what they perceive as a hardening police tactics in recent years, especially since France's Yellow Vest protests against economic hardship in 2018.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday said images of police beating a Black music producer in Paris put "shame" on the country, with top politicians and sportsmen expressing outrage over the incident.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Germany, Italy, France urge to shut ski slopes until Jan 10; EU waves off
Germany, Italy, France urge to shut ski slopes until Jan 10; EU waves off
Credit: unsplash/https://unsplash.com/photos/vZz5RKpVIyg

Germany joins Italy and France in their demand to ban ski resorts from opening until January 10, stating it would be a "great risk, even crazy, to open ski-slopes."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and multiple prime ministers addressed an appeal to all citizens to refrain from "all not absolutely necessary professional and private journeys, in particular, tourist journeys to foreign countries, especially considering the start of the ski season."

"The Federal Government is asked to come to coordinated regulations at European level in order to prevent ski tourism from being permitted before 10 January", the paper continues.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides opposes a Europe-wide ski ban over the Christmas holidays, saying that "there is no formula that applies to all EU countries because every country has a different situation."

Climate & Environment
Top court: France has three months to show it's taking climate action
Top court: France has three months to show it's taking climate action
Credit: By Marie-Lan Nguyen - Own work / via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

France's government was hauled before the Council of State by the coastal town Grande-Synthe and has now been given a three-month deadline to show that it's taking action to meet its commitments concerning climate change. While the country "has committed itself to reduce its emissions by 40% in 2030 compared to 1990 levels, it has, in recent years, regularly exceeded the 'carbon budgets' it had set itself", as was noted by the Council.

This means that "policies must be more than nice commitments on paper," said Grande Synthe's lawyer Corinne Lepage, calling the decision "historic".

Regional News • Europe • France
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.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Initiative against terrorism discusses ban on end-to-end encryption in the European Union
Initiative against terrorism discusses ban on end-to-end encryption in the European Union
Credit: unsplash.com / Scott Webb

Germany, Austria and France are planning a joint initiative against terrorism. In terms of content, a ban on end-to-end encryption, the deportation of "extremist conspicuous" people and the training of imams will be discussed.

The German EU Council Presidency has previously prepared a draft resolution on the handling of encryption on behalf of the EU states, as confirmed by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior.

This week, the EU interior ministers' council will also discuss this. However, individual claims have already been publicly denied.

Technology • Internet & Web
Brussels accuses Amazon of violating antitrust laws by illegally using company data
Brussels accuses Amazon of violating antitrust laws by illegally using company data
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager announced that the Competition Department has opened a new investigation against the US company for commercial practices linked to its premium programmed which could constitute an abuse of its dominant market position. "We have come to the preliminary conclusion that Amazon has illegally abused its dominant position as a market service provider in Germany and France by using confidential data on a large scale to compete with smaller retailers."

As a service provider, the Seattle-based company has access to the private business data of its vendors, their volume of visits, sales and shipments, and even the complaints they receive from customers.

Sports
Rafael Nadal became the fourth player to achieve 1,000 ATP Tour wins, with Paris Masters victory
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal Credit: brett marlow (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Spanish Rafael Nadal became the fourth tennis player to record 1,000 ATP Tour wins with victory over fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez at the Paris Masters. Jimmy Connors leads with 1,274 wins, followed by Roger Federer (1.242) and the Czech Ivan Lendl (1,068).

Nadal turned professional in 2001 and won his first ATP Tour match in 2002 when he defeated Paraguay's Ramon Delgado in the first round of the Mallorca Open.

Regional News • Europe • France
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.

Regional News • Europe • France
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.

Regional News • Europe • France
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."

Regional News • Europe • France
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.

Regional News • Europe • France
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.

Regional News • Europe • France
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.

Regional News • Europe
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Credit: unsplash.com/Ewien van Bergeijk - Kwant

Covid-19 cases have doubled in Europe over the past ten days, rising from 100,000 to 200,000. Multiple countries, including Austria, Germany, Italy and France, have reported daily records in the past week.