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TODAY IN FRANCE

Aujourd’hui: What’s happening in France on Wednesday

Welcome to the round-up of news and talking points in France today.

Aujourd'hui: What's happening in France on Wednesday
Photo: AFP

You will have seen them on the news at the end of virtually every French protest, smashing windows and setting fire to cars, but who are the ‘Black Bloc’ rioters and what do they want?

 

Ingri Bergo has conducted this fascinating interview with a French Black Bloc about her life in the violent protest movement and her attitude to protest; “Either we keep all anger and despair inside, get ill and end up on anti-depressants, or we dress up in black and explode on the streets.”

Travel

If you love the idea of taking a night train across Europe (post-Covid, obviously) then there’s good news, as France is to be one of the first countries included in a new network of night trains from next year. 

Politics

In France, President Emmanuel Macron is today presenting his bill to combat Islamic extremism – John Lichfield analyses what is in it and what is missing.

While on the European stage, France’s Europe minister has announced in a magazine interview that he is gay and intends next year to visit one of the so-called ‘LGBT free zones’ in Poland to support the people there.

 

Pétanque

If you thought the French sport of pétanque was all about old men sipping pastis as they play, then think again – the sport is making serious efforts to appear more professional and has banned drinking and smoking during competitions and introduced a strict dress code.

Football
 
For football fans, this is a detailed looked (in French) and what happened during the PSG-Basaksehir match yesterday and why players including Kylian Mbappé decided to walk off the pitch in solidarity after complaints of racist language.
 
Language
 
And if you've ever cringed at your French mistakes, don't worry, you could always get a job at Vogue. The US-based magazine has been causing some hilarity with this (now deleted) tweet and its rather uncertain rendering of the French phrase je ne sais quoi.
 
Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) tweeted at 7:18 am on Wed, Dec 09, 2020:

Michelle Pfeiffer has that je nais se quois.  https://t.co/vCpN2AlR4O

(https://twitter.com/voguemagazine/status/1336555764769501184?s=03)

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TODAY IN FRANCE

Today in France: What are the top stories on Wednesday

Welcome to the roundup of latest news and talking points in France today.

Today in France: What are the top stories on Wednesday
Photo: AFP

France has now reopened its border with the UK, but only to certain groups of travellers. Here’s who can travel to France from the UK and the documents they need to travel with.

And as well as its virus mutation, the UK also seems to have suffered from an outbreak of French-bashing. 

 

Here’s John Lichfield wearily looking back at his 24 years of covering France and seeing this nonsense, as well as examining why this type of xenophobia is not reciprocated by the French. 

Crime

Thee police officers have died after being shot by a man who was holding a woman hostage. The man himself was later found dead, after setting fire to the house in Puy-de-Dôme in central France.

Health

France’s health minister has moved to reassure people that having the Covid-19 vaccine will not be a requirement for accessing services like public transport. This comes after a health bill that stirred controversy – the bill has now been taken off the parliamentary schedule.

Work

France has also made some changes to its labour laws for 2021 – here’s how that could affect you.

Weather

Weather forecasters are predicting late snowfalls for a white Christmas in parts of France.

 

Macron

And in case anyone was worrying about France's Covid-infected president, he is 'doing better' according to his office. Prime Minister Jean Castex, who had been self-isolating since Macron's diagnosis, today tested negative for Covid-19 and can resume his duties in person.

 
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