Ukraine crisis: France’s Macron on solo diplomatic mission
08 February 2022 | 1:57 pm
Since December, Russia has gradually amassed more than 100,000 troops along its border with Ukraine. Amid stalled talks between the US and Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron is embarking on a solo mission to Moscow and then Kyiv, insisting a diplomatic solution is still possible. For more on what to expect from this latest diplomatic push, we spoke to Natia Seskuria, Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. "Russia will not stop at Ukraine," she warned.
When Emmanuel Macron first ran for president five years ago, he touted himself as a disruptor; a leader who could reform France from outside the box of the traditional political parties. It turns out the reformer can sometimes be a loose cannon. We ask our panel about the incumbent's latest shock statement that's got the chattering classes going in Paris.
Omicron cases are surging around the world, and France is the latest country to hit a new record reporting 60,000 more infections than the previous high. And - clearly losing patience, President Emmanuel Macron had some salty words for anyone still unvaccinated.
In this edition we head to the Italian capital Rome, which has long attracted the cream of French artists. The prestigious setting of the Villa Medici is home to the Academy of France, and each year a select group of contemporary artists receive a fellowship, allowing them to work on their dream project in a uniquely cossetted setting. Our reporters Luke Brown and Xavier Chemisseur were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of what the artists-in-residence have been working on.
In France, it's estimated that more than 30 percent of people drink excessively. That means more than two glasses of wine per day and more than five days a week. These figures have gone up during the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet the government's approach to alcohol has been not as forceful as with other types of addiction such as smoking. Indeed, some specialists say that's down to the power of lobbies within the industry. We take a closer look in this edition of France in Focus.
We begin in Kazakhstan, where the country's president has given the green light to security forces to shoot to kill those taking part in the unrest that's been sweeping the Central Asian nation this week. Dozens of people have been killed in the violence which erupted after a sharp increase in fuel prices, reflecting wider discontent with authoritarian rule. In response to a call from President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Russian-led troops have already begun arriving in Kazakhstan.
In this edition, we take you to discover the High Plains of Vercors in south-eastern France. In winter, this area is devoid of permanent human dwellings – only animals roam the mountains. It's an immaculate but hostile landscape spread over 170 km² that forest warden Brice Palhec knows well. He takes us behind the scenes of this wild world, the largest nature reserve in mainland France.
France's foreign ministry has said the incarceration 'reduces trust' with Iran. The academic was previously under house arrest.
As tensions simmer and troops amass along on both sides of the border, DW's Nick Connolly visited eastern Ukraine. Close to the Russian border, in the town of Milove, he spoke with locals about what it's like to live there.
The press discusses the pressure being placed on French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer as teachers go on strike over confusing Covid-19 rules. We also discuss the outrage of the British papers towards PM Boris Johnson's Partygate mea culpa. We then discover how marijuana could help combat Covid-19 infections. Finally, the papers tell us of a blind date that went viral when a couple in China had to struggle through a sudden lockdown together.
Find these stories and much more when you grab a copy of The Guardian on Friday.
FRANCE 24 spoke to Lu Shaye, the Chinese ambassador to France. He insisted Beijing was prioritising "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan, but said the Chinese authorities had "not ruled out the use of force" – not with the intention of targeting "the people of Taiwan", but rather to dissuade "separatists in Taiwan" and certain "foreign forces". The Chinese diplomat also said he was "sure" there would be no mass surge in Covid-19 cases during the Winter Olympics, which open in Beijing on February 4.
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