France turns to speedy trains to catch up in virus response

PARIS (AP) — The high-speed train whooshing past historic World War I battle zones and through the chateau-speckled Loire Valley carried a delicate cargo: 20 critically ill COVID-19 patients and the machines helping keep them alive.

The TGV-turned-mobile-intensive-care-unit is just one piece of France’s nationwide mobilization of trains, helicopters, jets and even a warship, deployed to relieve congested hospitals and shuffle hundreds of patients and hundreds more medical personnel in and out of coronavirus hotspots.

France launches terror probe after two killed in stabbing spree

5 April 2020; AFP: A Sudanese refugee went on a knife rampage in a town in southeastern France on Saturday, killing two people in what is being treated as a terrorist attack.

The attack in broad daylight, which President Emmanuel Macron called "an odious act", took place with the country on lockdown in a bid to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Man armed with knife kills two in attacks in southeast France - mayor

LYON, France (Reuters) - A man armed with a knife attacked people out shopping in the southeastern French town of Romans-sur-Isère on Saturday, killing two and wounding four, the mayor said.

The town is currently under a coronavirus lockdown, although people are allowed out to buy essentials.

The attacks took place in the morning outside a bakery where customers were queuing, and at shops in the town center, according to Mayor Marie-Hélène Thoraval, who said the assailant had been arrested.

Congo ex-president Yombi Opango dies in France due to Corona

BRAZZAVILLE, March 31 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Former Republic of Congo president Jacques Joaquim Yhombi Opango died in France on Monday of the new coronavirus, his family said. He was 81.

Yhombi Opango, who led Congo-Brazzaville from 1977 until he was toppled in 1979, died at a Paris hospital of COVID-19, his son Jean-Jacques said.

Yhombi Opango had been ill before he contracted the virus, his son said.

Born in 1939 in Congo’s northern Cuvette region, Yhombi Opango was an army officer who rose to power after the assassination of president Marien Ngouabi.

Spanish Princess Maria Teresa dies from COVID-19

Paris; 29 March 2020 (UMM): Spanish Princess Maria Teresa of Bourbon-Parma has become the first victim of the COVID-19 in Paris. She was eighty-six years old.

According to Fox News, the 86-year-old was a cousin of Spain's King Felipe VI. Her brother Prince Sixto Enrique de Borbon, the Duke of Aranjuez, announced on Facebook that she died after contracting COVID-19.

Coronavirus crisis puts EU's credibility on the line: French minister

PARIS (Reuters) - How the European Union responds to the coronavirus outbreak will determine its credibility and utility, a French minister said on Sunday, after the bloc failed to agree last week on measures to cushion the economic blow from the pandemic.

“If Europe is just a single market when times are good, then it has no sense,” European Affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin told France Inter radio.

She said Europe’s populist parties would be the winners if EU leaders failed to act together during a major crisis.

As rich nations battle coronavirus, anxiety grows for low-income states

PARIS, March 28 (NNN-AGENCIES) — As Europe and the United States struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic, aid groups warn that without measures millions could die in low-income countries and war zones such as Syria and Yemen, where hygiene conditions are already dire.

The outbreak has infected some 580,000 people and killed over 26,000 around the world after emerging in China in December last year.

FRANCE: Eiffel Tower says “Merci” to health workers fighting virus

PARIS (AP) — Health workers racing to save lives as France contends with one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks have received a huge show of gratitude with the help of the Eiffel Tower.

The Paris landmark also had a message for the broader French public: Stay home.

Lights spelled out “Merci,” French for ’Thank you,” and “Stay at home” in English on Friday night along with the tower’s famous sparkling illuminations.

France's Macron launches army operation to win war against COVID-19

PARIS, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Declaring a war against "an invisible enemy," President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday announced an army operation "Resilience" to back the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and support the population.

"We are at war and faced with the peak of the epidemic which is before us, I decided to launch the operation Resilience," Macron said on the sidelines of a visit to a military field hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France, the worst-hit region.

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