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NEW YEAR

In Pictures: French revellers take chilly seaside dip to celebrate the New Year

Well done to those across France who embraced the chilly thrill of a New Year's dip on Tuesday. Here are some of the best pictures from this year's events.

In Pictures: French revellers take chilly seaside dip to celebrate the New Year
Revellers take part in the traditional "Bain des Givres" as part of the New Year's celebrations on January 1, 2019 at Malo-Les-Bains beach in Dunkirk, northern France. Photo: AFP
The tradition appealed to many looking for a bracing way to ring in 2019.
 
How cold? “Nine or nine-ten (degrees Celsius), but it's fine, it feels good,” said Claudy, who took part with around 1,000 others in the annual rite at Malo-les-Bains, northern France.
   
In Fahrenheit, this means a chilly 48 degrees.
 
Here are some of the best pictures from the tradition, taken from both the north and south coasts of France. 
 
Many dress up for the occasion and this year some even donned a gilet jaune in honour of the “yellow vest” protest movement which shook France at the end of December. 
 
 
And many took the opportunity to toast the new year. 
 
 
 
But unsurprisingly others found it was best to keep moving. 
 
 
The gloomy weather wasn't enough to put people off. 
 
 
 
Of course for those swimming off the south coast of France, conditions weren't quite so trying. 
 
And impressive 800 people took part in Le Mourillon, a neighbourhood to the east of the French city of Toulon in the south east of France. 
 
 
But it wasn't only the young who dared to take part. 
 

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RUSSIA

Russia announces no New Year’s greetings for France, US, Germany

US President Joe Biden, France's Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will not be receiving New Year's greetings from Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Russia announces no New Year's greetings for France, US, Germany

As the world gears up to ring in the New Year this weekend, Putin sent congratulatory messages to the leaders of Kremlin-friendly countries including Turkey, Syria, Venezuela and China.

But Putin will not wish a happy New Year to the leaders of the United States, France and Germany, countries that have piled unprecedented sanctions on Moscow over Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

“We currently have no contact with them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“And the president will not congratulate them given the unfriendly actions that they are taking on a continuous basis,” he added.

Putin shocked the world by sending troops to pro-Western Ukraine on February 24.

While Kyiv’s Western allies refused to send troops to Ukraine, they have been supplying the ex-Soviet country with weapons in a show of support that has seen Moscow suffer humiliating setbacks on the battlefield.

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