Coronavirus latest: France enters nationwide lockdown
18 March 2020 | 6:50 am
Widespread containment measures have gone into effect across much of Germany, France and Spain. Non-essential businesses and shops are closed, people have been ordered to stay at home and borders have been shut.
Europe continues to struggle with a heat wave, though some have seen a respite from record high temperatures for the time of year. One of several wildfires has raged out of control on Greece's second-largest island.
The second round of France's legislative elections takes place on Sunday. A left-wing alliance led by Jean-Luc Melenchon is trying to dislodge President Emmanuel Macron's bloc, but pollsters doubt that this will happen.
Hackers breached the system used Germany's ruling Green Party and gained access to accounts previously used by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Economy Minister Robert Habeck, party officials said.
French President Emmanuel Macron is facing difficult negotiations after his centrist bloc lost its absolute majority in parliament. The conservatives have already ruled out forming a coalition.
In the first case of its kind, German prosecutors have seized several apartments belonging to a Russian lawmaker. So far other sanctioned assets have simply been frozen.
French prosecutors said on Wednesday they were investigating a junior minister in President Emmanuel Macron's government after two allegations of rape were brought against her.
In a speech ahead of key summits, the German chancellor has told parliament that "we will defend every square meter of NATO territory." He also described a partnership with Russia under Vladimir Putin as "unimaginable."
Without Russian natural gas, Germany will be facing an energy crisis. Coal, nuclear, fracking or renewable energy — what are the most realistic and climate-friendly options?
Germany has taken a step towards rationing natural gas by activating the second of three stages in an emergency plan. Officials say that since Russia reduced supplies, gas is now a "scarce commodity". Also in the show: the UK is hit by a second day of rail strikes over job security, pay and the rising cost of living, and high inflation in France prompts a boom in demand for camping holidays.
German energy official Klaus Müller has said the country's gas situation is stable but predicted higher prices for consumers. He also said that Germany can last another 2 1/2 months without Russian gas.
The government is following through on its pledge to decriminalize abortion. Officials plan to abolish a law that subjects doctors who publish information on abortion procedures to prosecution.
On November 17, 2018, French men and women gathered for the first time on the capital’s iconic Champs-Élysées and on hundreds of roundabouts throughout France to protest against the high cost of living. They were easily recognisable by their yellow high-visibility vests. The months-long demonstrations against the government of President Emmanuel Macron turned violent and were met with a fierce crackdown by security forces. Almost four years later, those who participated in the movement tell FRANCE 24’s reporters how the struggle has changed their lives.
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