France

6.8-magnitude earthquake registered near New Caledonia

MOSCOW, May 19. /TASS/: An 6.8-magnitude earthquake was registered off New Caledonia’s shore on Sunday, the United States Geological Survey reported.

The epicenter was located 178 km east of the town of Tadine, where 7,500 people live, at a depth of 14 km.

No information about injuries and destructions was reported; no tsunami warning was issued.

New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean.

Former ETA leader detained in France

MADRID, May 16 (Xinhua): A former leader of armed Basque separatist militant group ETA has been arrested in France, the Spanish Interior Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

Jose Antonio Urrutikoetxea Bengoetxea, also known as Josu Ternera, 69, who has spent 17 years on the run, was arrested "in the early hours of the morning in Sallanches in the French Alps," said the ministry in a communique.

It is reported that Ternera was arrested on his way to a hospital appointment, and that he is seriously ill.

Saudi vessel leaves France without arms

10 May 2019; MEMO: A Saudi vessel that had been due to load arms in France left the country’s Le Havre port without its cargo of weapons and is now sailing towards Santander in Spain, according to ship tracking data, a local official and a lawyer.

Reuters reported that two French human rights groups yesterday sought to block the loading of weapons onto the ship through a legal filing, arguing the cargo contravened an international arms treaty.

French telecom giant Orange on trial over staff suicides

PARIS (AP) — French telecom giant Orange and seven former or current managers are going on trial accused of moral harassment over a wave of employee suicides a decade ago.

France’s main phone and internet company saw 19 suicides, 12 suicide attempts and eight cases of serious depression among employees from 2007-2010. The company, then called France Telecom, was undergoing job cuts and restructuring.

"Yellow Vest" turnout falls after Macron offers more concessions

PARIS, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Two days after French President Emmanuel Macron offered additional concessions worth billions of euros, thousands of "yellow vests" marched across French cities on Saturday for the 24th weekend in a row, though with noticeable fatigue.

The protest drew 23,600 participants countrywide, of which 2,600 were in the capital Paris, the second lowest turnout since the movement started five months ago, Interior Ministry estimated.

Last Saturday, 27,900 people took to the streets across the country, including 9,000 in the capital.

Macron promises tax cuts, more reforms

26 Apr 2019; DW: President Emmanuel Macron sought to put his 2017 election reform agenda back on track Thursday after months of sometimes violent "yellow vest" encounters with police — paralleled by town hall debates he personally attended — saying "essential" transformations should not be stopped.

"Did we take the wrong turn? I believe quite the opposite," said the 41-year-old former investment banker, whose popularity rating has fallen from above 60% when he was elected to around 30% now.

Macron pledges to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral within five years

PARIS, April 16 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral, devastated by fire on Monday evening, within five years, calling on the French to remain united.

In a brief televised speech, Macron told the nation "We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years".

"It is up to us to change this disaster into an opportunity to come together... It is up to us to find the thread of our national project, the one that has made us, unites us, a human project, deeply French," he said.

$1 billion raised to rebuild Paris’ Notre Dame after fire

PARIS (AP) — Nearly $1 billion has already poured in from ordinary worshippers and high-powered magnates around the world to restore Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a massive fire.

Construction teams brought in a huge crane and a delivery of planks of wood to the site Wednesday morning.

French President Emmanuel Macron ratcheted up the pressure by setting a five-year deadline to restore the 12th-century landmark. Macron is holding a special Cabinet meeting Wednesday dedicated to the Notre Dame disaster.

Donors pledge nearly 500mn euros to rebuild Notre-Dame

16 Apr 2019; AFP: Billionaires and local governments pledged nearly 500 million euros (565 million dollars) on Tuesday to help restore Notre-Dame cathedral, with foundations and crowd-sourcing sites also launching fund-raising drives.

President Emmanuel Macron has vowed the emblematic monument will be rebuilt after its spire and roof collapsed Monday night in a blaze thought to be linked to extensive renovation work.

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