Determined Fillon strikes back with a letter to the French

Determined Fillon strikes back with a letter to the French

In a bid to revive his scandal-hit candidature for the French presidency, conservative candidate Francois Fillon on Tuesday published a letter to the French public in the widely-read regional newspaper Ouest-France. As yet more allegations about his wife’s job as a parliamentary aide emerged, former prime minister Fillon re-affirmed the legality of the salaries paid […]

Off with their heads! How French politics went topsy-turvy in 100 days

Off with their heads! How French politics went topsy-turvy in 100 days

With François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy already out of the picture, Manuel Valls’s crushing primary defeat on Sunday capped an astonishing one hundred days that turned the race for the Élysée Palace into a quagmire. In hindsight, one could say of Valls’s doomed presidential run that he got everything wrong except his opening plea: he […]

Supporters cheer embattled Fillons at French election rally

Supporters cheer embattled Fillons at French election rally

Thousands of supporters gave embattled French presidential candidate François Fillon and his wife a standing ovation at a rally on Sunday, in a show of support after his campaign was thrown off track by allegations of misuse of public funds. Satirical weekly Le Canard Enchainé reported on Wednesday that Penelope Fillon had been paid thousands […]

French presidential hopeful warns of Britain becoming US vassal state

French presidential hopeful warns of Britain becoming US vassal state

Britain is becoming subservient to a United States that will be extremely difficult to cooperate with judging by President Donald Trump’s “serious and worrying” first acts, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron said on Friday. British Prime Minister Theresa May, who will hold talks with Trump later on Friday, wants a renewal of the “special relationship” […]

French right has no presidential candidate if Fillon steps down

French right has no presidential candidate if Fillon steps down

France’s conservative party les Républicains will be without a Plan B if its presidential candidate, François Fillon, is forced to step down amid an ongoing scandal of alleged illegal payments to his wife. Fillon is under growing pressure following this week’s revelations in satirical French weekly Le Canard Enchainé that Penelope Fillon was paid around […]

Flooding, landslides destroy homes and cut power in French Polynesia

Flooding, landslides destroy homes and cut power in French Polynesia

Heavy flooding in French Polynesia has forced many residents to evacuate, cut off power to thousands of homes, and closed Tahiti’s international airport. The French Polynesia High Commission said three people were injured, one seriously, while more than 100 homes were destroyed. Major roads were damaged by landslides. The floods were most severe on the […]

French jihadist charged and held on return from Syria

French jihadist charged and held on return from Syria

A high-profile French jihadist was charged with terrorist offences and remanded in custody on Saturday, a day after being transferred to France from Turkey, where he had turned himself in to authorities. Kevin G., a 24-year-old who converted to Islam 10 years ago, was one of the UN’s most wanted jihadists and had been placed […]

French presidential hopeful, ex-PM Valls slapped during campaign stop

French presidential hopeful, ex-PM Valls slapped during campaign stop

A youth reached out apparently to slap former prime minister Manuel Valls when he was on an election tour in France’s Brittany region on Tuesday and was wrestled to the ground by a security guard, a video by local media showed. Valls, 54, who was walking past a group of people in the town of […]

‘Targeted killings necessary … just don’t tell anyone’, say French leftist candidates

‘Targeted killings necessary … just don’t tell anyone’, say French leftist candidates

The targeted killing of terrorists abroad is justified to protect national security, most candidates in Thursday’s left-wing primary debate for the French presidency agreed. However, most also argued that the public should not be told about it. “We are at war, we must protect the French people,” said former prime minister Manuel Valls at the […]

French presidential candidate Fillon promises crackdown on immigration

French presidential candidate Fillon promises crackdown on immigration

France’s presidential election frontrunner Francois Fillon vowed on Wednesday to take back control of immigration including by imposing quotas on non-European Union nationals as he looks to win votes from the far-right National Front party. Immigration and security are key issues in the campaign for this year’s vote with the leader of the National Front, […]

French military to boost cyber defence in wake of hacking scandals

French military to boost cyber defence in wake of hacking scandals

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview published Sunday that French infrastructure could be vulnerable to cyber attacks and that the country is looking to boost its defences with thousands of “digital soldiers” by 2019. In an interview with French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche, Le Drian said the nation’s infrastructure – including […]

French court acquits researcher who helped illegal migrants find shelter

French court acquits researcher who helped illegal migrants find shelter

A Nice court acquitted a Frenchman caught giving a lift to three illegal migrants in the latest case to highlight the actions of citizens in the now famous “rebel valley”, who claim it is their civic duty to help those in need. Prosecutors had requested a six-month suspended jail term for the 45-year-old university researcher, […]

Israel’s Lieberman dubs French peace meeting new ‘Dreyfus trial’

Israel’s Lieberman dubs French peace meeting new ‘Dreyfus trial’

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday criticised an upcoming Middle East peace conference organised by France, calling it a new “Dreyfus trial” and urged French Jews to move to Israel. Representatives of around 70 countries are due to attend the January 15 conference aimed at restarting long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Israel has strongly opposed […]

French aid worker Sophie Petronin kidnapped in Mali

French aid worker Sophie Petronin kidnapped in Mali

A Frenchwoman who runs an organisation for malnourished children has been kidnapped in Mali’s restive north, France’s foreign ministry confirmed on Sunday, as French troops joined in the search for the aid worker. Sophie Petronin was abducted in the city of Gao on Saturday, the ministry said, adding that French and Malian authorities were working […]

French mayor to be tried for Muslim ‘problem’ comments

French mayor to be tried for Muslim ‘problem’ comments

A far-right French mayor will be tried on hate charges over comments that include a claim the number of Muslim students in his city was a “problem”, a judicial source said Wednesday. Robert Menard, who is an ally of France’s anti-immigrant National Front party, will face a charge in a Paris court of incitement to […]

Verdict upheld for elderly French couple who hid Picasso works in garage

Verdict upheld for elderly French couple who hid Picasso works in garage

A French court on Friday upheld the two-year suspended sentences of Pablo Picasso’s former electrician and his wife, who kept 271 of his artworks stashed in their garage for almost 40 years. Pierre Le Guennec and his wife Danielle were convicted last year of possessing stolen goods and for hiding the works from Picasso’s heirs. […]

New French PM Cazeneuve is racing against time

New French PM Cazeneuve is racing against time

Less than five months before the first round of presidential elections, France’s new government has desperate little time to accomplish any policy goals. But the new prime minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, could still succeed in leaving his mark. Delivering his debut speech as prime minister to France’s National Assembly on Tuesday, Cazeneuve said he would make […]

French lawmakers ban websites that spread ‘false information’ on abortion

French lawmakers ban websites that spread ‘false information’ on abortion

French Senators on Thursday passed a bill to ban pro-life websites from spreading “false information” about abortion, following a heated debate with rightwing lawmakers who argued it would contravene freedom of expression. The debate comes less than five months before France elects a new president, with the rightwing Les Républicains party candidate François Fillon, a […]

Rwanda opens probe into role of French officials in genocide

Rwanda opens probe into role of French officials in genocide

Rwanda on Tuesday opened a formal probe into 20 French officials suspected of playing a role in the 1994 genocide which left some 800,000 dead, the prosecutor general said. “The inquiry, for now, is focused on 20 individuals whom, according to information gathered so far, are required by the prosecution authority to explain or provide […]

Who is and who isn’t attending Fidel Castro’s funeral

Who is and who isn’t attending Fidel Castro’s funeral

  A growing list of world leaders including French President François Hollande and US President Barack Obama have opted out of attending Sunday’s funeral of former Cuban president Fidel Castro. French President François Hollande On Monday, Hollande’s office told AFP that he would not be attending the former Cuban leader’s funeral on Sunday. He will […]

French conservatives head to the polls to pick 2017 nominee

French conservatives head to the polls to pick 2017 nominee

French conservatives on Sunday are choosing their nominee for next year’s vital presidential election from among two former prime ministers with deep experience in government and differing views on how to prevent more terror attacks on French soil. The contenders in the conservative’s primary runoff – Francois Fillon, 62, and 71-year-old Alain Juppe – are […]

No terror links found in French retirement home murder

No terror links  found in French retirement home murder

Investigators probing the killing of a worker at a missionary retirement home in southern France believe it was a local crime and are not treating it as a terror attack, a prosecutor said Friday after police arrested a suspect. The slaying set nerves jangling in France late Thursday after a string of jihadist atrocities in […]

Fillon in strong position to claim French conservative nomination

Fillon in strong position to claim French conservative nomination

Former prime minister François Fillon looked on Friday to be in a strong position to claim his centre-right party’s nomination to contest next year’s French presidential election as he and rival Alain Juppé held final rallies of the primary campaign. In an impassioned speech to supporters in Paris, Fillon, 62, struck a strong patriotic note, […]

French conservative rivals spar over multiculturalism in primary debate

French conservative rivals spar over multiculturalism in primary debate

Two former French prime ministers, Alain Juppé and François Fillon, clashed on Thursday over multiculturalism and foreign policy on live television, three days ahead of the country’s conservative presidential primary run-off. The stakes were high as the two members of the main opposition Les Républicains party faced off in a final debate, with the winner […]

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