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Macron ‘doing better’ after Covid diagnosis, said French president’s office

French President Emmanuel Macron, who contracted Covid-19 last week, is doing better, his office said on Wednesday.

Macron 'doing better' after Covid diagnosis, said French president's office
Emmanuel Macron is self-isolating in Versailles and holding meetings via video link. Photo: AFP

Macron tested positive for the virus on Thursday showing symptoms of fatigue, coughing and muscle aches.

The president, who self-confined in an official residence near Paris from where he is running meetings remotely, had promised daily updates on his health.

He is now “showing signs of improvement,” the Elysee palace said, without giving details.

All previous daily updates had said that the 43-year old president was in a “stable” condition.

 

The Prime Minister Jean Castex, who has been self-isolating since Macron's diagnosis, tested negative for the virus on Wednesday, his office said, so can now resume his duties in person.

The French authorities are concerned that the holiday period could see a new spike in infections, after the country's total Covid death toll went above 60,000 last week.

Authorities said on Tuesday that nearly 12,000 new cases had been reported in the previous 24 hours, and 386 deaths.

A vaccination campaign is to start on Sunday, with health workers and older people among the first to get Covid shots, the government said.

The EU gave the green light for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine on Monday, paving the way for the first inoculations to start across 27 countries soon after Christmas.

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POLITICS

‘Affaire Mila’: Six convicted for harassing French teen over anti-Islam videos

A French court convicted six people on Tuesday for harassing a teen online over her anti-Islam videos in a case that sparked debate about free speech and the right to insult religions.

'Affaire Mila': Six convicted for harassing French teen over anti-Islam videos

The girl, known as Mila, was forced to change schools and accept police protection due to threats to her life after videos in which she insulted Islam went viral in January 2020 and November the same year.

The court handed sentences ranging from a three-month suspended prison term to four months with an electronic bracelet to the two men and four women, aged 19 to 39.

The six were ordered to pay damages of €3,000 ($3,200) each to Mila.

“Their conviction was necessary,” said Mila’s lawyer Richard Malka, but added that he felt no satisfaction at seeing them sentenced.

READ MORE: What is the ‘Affaire Mila’ and what does it say about France and Islam?

“My only satisfaction would be if Mila were able to lead a normal life… and that is not the case,” Malka said.

In the first viral video posted on Instagram in January 2020, Mila responded to personal abuse from a boy who she says insulted her about her sexuality “in the name of Allah”.

She launched into an expletive-laden rant against Islam along with other explicit comments about Allah deemed highly offensive to practising Muslims.

She published a second video with similar content in November of the same year, after a jihadist killing of French high-school teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown students controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Mila’s lawyer says she received over 100,000 extremely virulent messages in response to the videos, with one person writing that Mila deserved “to have her throat cut”, while others threatened sexual assault.

In July 2021, a French court convicted 11 people for harassment and handed suspended sentences, with some ordered to pay damages of 1,500 euros.

The case has received widespread public attention because it touches on hotly contested issues in France, from cyber harassment to the right to blaspheme, and attitudes to religious minorities.

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