France

Dozens arrested in Paris 'yellow vest' protests

21 September 2019; AFP: Dozens of demonstrators were arrested at yellow vest protests in Paris on Saturday as more than 7,000 police were deployed to quell any violence by the movement and its radical, anarchist "black blocs".

There were also fears that the demonstrators could try to infiltrate a march against climate change in the French capital.

Thousands of Paris police deployed over ‘yellow vest’ clash fears

PARIS, Sept 21 (NNN-AGENCIES) — More than 7,000 police officers are to be deployed for rallies in Paris on Saturday over fears that yellow vest protesters and their radical, anarchist “black blocs” could try to infiltrate a march against climate change in the French capital.

The yellow vest movement erupted 10 months ago and blindsided President Emmanuel Macron, who protesters accused of being out of touch with the needs of ordinary French people.

EU Council will be too late to negotiate Brexit deal: French source

PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Time to agree a Brexit deal is running out and it will be too late for European leaders to iron out a deal at a European Council meeting in Brussels in mid-October, a French diplomatic source said on Thursday.

The French warning comes after President Emmanuel Macron met the Finnish prime minister in Paris on Wednesday.

“The idea was to say that time is running out and that we won’t be negotiating directly at the European Council in mid-October,” the source said.

France wants facts before commenting on Saudi attack - foreign ministry

PARIS (Reuters) - France will not rush into commenting on who was behind an attack on Saudi oil installations, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Asked in an online briefing whether Paris considered the Saudi and US analysis that Iran was behind the attack to be credible, the spokeswoman responded: “We share the desire to carefully establish the facts before making any reaction.”

Earlier in the day, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said Paris would send experts to Saudi Arabia to help with investigations into the attack.

French police begin to clear migrants sheltered at Dunkirk gym

PARIS, Sept 18 (NNN-AGENCIES) — French police are clearing nearly 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port city of Dunkirk after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard.

The mayor of Grande-Synthe, a suburb of Dunkirk, last December opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold.

Since then, it has grown into a makeshift camp with approximately 800 people sleeping in tents pitched around the cramped gymnasium where some 170 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach the United Kingdom, had taken shelter.

EU chief: The risk of a no-deal Brexit “remains very real”

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — The risk of Britain leaving the European Union without a divorce deal remains “very real,” European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker declared Wednesday as EU lawmakers debated the ramifications of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Juncker, who met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, said a no-deal Brexit “might be the choice of the U.K., but it will never be ours.”

Snowden calls on France's Macron to grant him asylum

Paris, Sep 16; AP/GANASHAKTI:  Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents detailing government surveillance programs, is calling on French President Emmanuel Macron to grant him asylum.

Snowden, now living in Russia to avoid prosecution in the United States, stressed in an interview broadcast Monday on France's Inter radio that "protecting whistle-blowers is not a hostile act" and that he feels entitled to get protected status in France.

France and Germany agree to block Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra

PARIS, Sept 14 (NNN-AGENCIES) — France and Germany have agreed to block Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, the French finance ministry said on Friday.

In a joint statement, the two governments affirmed that “no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations”.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday that Facebook’s new cryptocurrency should not be allowed to operate in Europe while concerns persist about sovereignty and persistent financial risks.

Leonardo da Vinci's mechanical lion goes on display in Paris

12 September 2019; AFP: Leonardo da Vinci's famous mechanical lion on Wednesday went on display in Paris for a month, in a tribute to the Renaissance master 500 years after his death.

The lion, which is two metres (six feet, seven inches) high and three metres long and made of wood with a metal mechanism, is a reconstruction based on a rudimentary sketch left by da Vinci.

France's National Assembly leader and Macron ally investigated in graft probe

PARIS (Reuters) - French National Assembly President Richard Ferrand was determined to stay in his job after investigating judges placed the close ally of President Emmanuel Macron under formal investigation in a financial impropriety case, his office said.

Judges in the northern city of Lille questioned Ferrand all day Wednesday in a case that could bring renewed scrutiny to Macron’s promise to clean up French politics.

Ferrand’s office said he denied any wrongdoing, adding he would use the investigation to defend himself and was confident the case would be dropped.

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