IN PICS: France boosts campaign against Isis

France's biggest aircraft carrier is on its way to the eastern Mediterranean as part of efforts to amp up operations in Syria in the wake of the Paris attacks.

IN PICS: France boosts campaign against Isis
French naval technicians working on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP.
The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle steamed ahead out of the southern port of Toulon on Wednesday towards the eastern Mediterranean, prepared to bolster France's campaign against Isis.
The French presidency said earlier this month that it would deploy the aircraft carrier to boost airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, but now the country has renewed conviction to fight the jihadist group following the attacks in Paris on Friday.
President François Hollande vowed to crush Isis and called the coordinated attacks that killed 129 people “acts of war.”

Aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle leaves the southern French port of Toulon on Wednesday. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP.
The presence of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the flagship of the French navy, will add to the six Rafale jets stationed in the United Arab Emirates and the six Mirages flying out of Jordan.

A French flag flies above French naval technicians working on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Charles-de-Gaulle at a military port in the southern French city of Toulon. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP.

The Charles de Gaulle did a two-month stint in the Gulf from February, from where strikes against Isis in Iraq were carried out, before returning to its base in the French port of Toulon.

France launched air strikes against the jihadists in Syria in October, after a year of bombing Isis in Iraq, saying it was acting in self defence.

Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP.

A monitoring group said on Wednesday that French-Russian airstrikes had killed at least 33 jihadists from Isis in Raqqa, Syria.

Since beginning operations in Iraq, French fighter jets have carried out more than 1,200 aerial missions the destruction of at least 450 targets.

Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP.


Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

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