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POLITICS

Meet America’s new Ambassador to France

An experienced diplomat who formerly worked in Belgium, the USA's new Ambassador has arrived in Paris.

Meet America’s new Ambassador to France
Photo: Par User: Mouloud47 / Wikipedia Commons

France’s new US Ambassador is no stranger to US-European relations, having served as Ambassador to Belgium for four years.

An experienced diplomat and a fluent French speaker, Denise Campbell Bauer, 58, was based in Brussels between 2013 and 2017 after being nominated to the position by Barack Obama – for whom she had raised millions of dollars for his two presidential campaigns.

A noted advocate for women in politics, in 2019, she was executive director of the ‘Women for Biden’ campaign group for Joe Biden’s ultimately successful bid for the Presidency.

She is a former TV journalist and has worked with the American Red Cross. 

She was nominated for the post of Ambassador to France and Monaco by President Joe Biden in July, and confirmed by the Senate during a marathon series of votes in December. She presented her credentials last month.

Announcing her nomination, the White House said in a statement: “Denise Campbell Bauer is an experienced diplomat, non-profit leader, and advocate for women’s voices in politics and policy. 

“She served as the United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium from August 2013 until January 2017, where she led one of the largest embassies in Europe and earned a reputation for her collaborative leadership style, high ethics standards, and crisis management skills.”

She takes over the post at a critical time in global politics, with the US and EU nations co-ordinating sanctions against Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine.

She succeeds Trump nominee Jamie McCourt, who left in January. Chargé d’affaires Brian Aggeler has managed the embassy in the short intervening period.

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PROTESTS

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

Students blockaded five schools in Paris on Tuesday to demonstrate their political concerns ahead of the second round of the Presidential elections on Sunday.

Students blockade Paris schools in election protest

In addition to the five blockaded lycées, the université Paris 8 in Saint-Denis was closed “for security reasons”.

The students – who are too young to make their voices heard at the ballot box – were protesting against the options available to voters in the second round – where incumbent Emmanuel Macron takes on far-right leader Marine Le Pen – and follows earlier student protests at the Sorbonne.

Many were demonstrating in protest at what they saw as inadequate policies on climate change and social issues from both candidates in the final round of voting, as well as the lack of choice for the electorate.

“It is a continuation of what happened at the Sorbonne,” one student told AFP. “We want a third social round, because the two candidates qualified for the second round have no social or ecological programmes. 

“We want to give a new breath to this Fifth Republic a little at the end of the race.

“We are fed up with the fascist state. We are here against Marine Le Pen, against fascism, for the climate and against capitalism,” another student at the lycée Louis-le-Grand in the capital’s fifth arrondissement said.

“We have blocked all the entrances. We will stay there as long as possible.”

About 100 students blockaded the prestigious school. Some students chant slogans against the “Front National” – the former name of second-round candidate Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National party.

The blockades ended peacefully at the end of the day.

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