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A bakers’ rebellion looms in France to defend baguettes

“MuiTypography-root-142 MuiTypography-h1-147″>A bakers’ rebellion looms in France to defend baguettes

Due to soaring electricity costs, bakers in France can’t afford to turn on their ovens to bake bread. They’re demanding help from the government and threatening the unthinkable — to turn off their ovens.

The WorldJanuary 6, 2023 · 11:45 AM EST

Baker David Buelens puts the baguettes into a basket at a bakery, in Versailles, west of Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. 

Michel Euler/AP

A bakers’ rebellion is looming in France as they prepare to defend their beloved baguettes. Making bread, croissants and other pastries has become next to impossible, they say, due to soaring electricity prices. 

Now, they’re demanding help from the government. And if it doesn’t arrive soon, they’re threatening the unthinkable — to turn off their ovens.

Take French baker Phillipe Mendez. The sound of his electric ovens whirring to life used to be music to his ears. Now, it’s a source of stress.

“My electricity bill has gone up four-fold in the last eight months,” he said. “That’s besides the price hikes for my basic ingredients. The situation,” he added, “is becoming very complicated.”

Mendez opened his artisanal bakery nine years ago in the small Alpine village of Embrun. Business was good, until now. Inflation, the war in Ukraine and the Europe-wide energy crunch have Mendez at wit's end.

"My wife, Nathalie, has had to come in to work," he said, "as we’ve been forced to reduce our staff."

"What’s happening is a real shame," Nathalie said as she sliced bread on the electric slicer. "All of our bread is homemade. We strive for quality. But because of what’s happening,” she said, “our hands are tied."

"The French, deprived of their bread, would die,” jokes French baker Phillipe Mendez. Mendez is one of thousands of artisanal bakers warning they may need to unplug their ovens because it's too expensive to operate due to rising electricity costs. 


Gerry Hadden/The World

At the end of this week the Mendezes said they’ll have to raise prices by about 10%. They said they can only hope their customers will still come by. Because it's France, good bread isn’t some luxury item — it’s like water — you have it with every meal.

Local worker Julien Breniere picked up two baguettes on his way home from work. He said he can’t start his day without them.

“They’re actually mini-baguettes,” he said. “Ficelles. In the morning,” he said, rubbing his stomach, “I toast them and eat them with butter and jam.”

“Our bread is very important,” 80-year-old customer Giselle Van Overberk said. “It’s well known,” she said, “that the French baguette is the best in the world.”

You could chalk up such comments to national pride. But French bakers sell some 6 billion baguettes a year. In December 2022, the United Nations granted baguette-baking world heritage status. And each week on French TV, there’s a reality show — just for baking bread.

On the latest episode of “The Best Bakeries in France,” two stern-looking judges weigh in on a spinach and Brebis cheese loaf baked somewhere in the Pyrenees — 8 points out of 10, they declared  — with room for improvement.  

Beloved bakers in France are not immune to the energy woes gripping the country. Electricity prices are set to rise further this winter, as the government struggles to compensate for the loss of natural gas from Russia. In fact, the government warns, there could be temporary blackouts later this month. But its message to bakers is, “We’ve got your backs.”

“We will not let our bakeries fail,” said France’s Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire on the radio this week. “We’ll stand by them,” he said. “Helping with concrete measures.”

Those measures include tax breaks and emergency subsidies. But French bakers say they need more. 

“They speak of an emergency bail-out check,” baker Mendez said. But red tape is a problem. 

“I had to file an application about 6 inches thick,” he said. “And I still don’t know if I’m getting anything.”

Mendez said he can hang on for another couple of months. After that, he said, he’ll bake up his last batch of baguettes, then unplug his ovens for good. And that, he said, would be an existential catastrophe.

"The French,” he half-jokes, “will die without their bread."

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A vegan bacon revolution takes hold in France

“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>A vegan bacon revolution takes hold in France

La Vie, a plant-based food startup in France, is on a mission to start a vegan bacon revolution and has tested products that taste almost like the real thing. Pork lobbyists are not too happy about it. 

The WorldSeptember 14, 2022 · 5:30 PM EDT

In a hot pan, the streaky bacon made by La Vie starts curling within minutes, bubbling and crisping just like bacon.

Rebecca Rosman/The World

It’s not easy being vegan in France. Especially when you’ve been raised a meat lover. 

“In France, you don’t have too many vegans,” said Nicolas Schweizer, 35, who’s been vegan for about a year now. 

“There’s so much social pressure to just stick with meat on every single meal.”  

Schweizer is also the co-founder of La Vie, a plant-based food startup on a mission to start a vegan bacon revolution of sorts not just in France, but all over Europe. And some pork lobbyists are not too happy about it. 

La Vie’s white-walled, fluorescent-lit labs test two flagship products: American-style streaky bacon and French lardons, which Schweizer likens to pancetta or bacon bites. 

“We are convinced that animal fat is a big part of what makes animal meat so delicious,” Schweizer said. 

Nicolas Schweizer, 35, has been vegan for about a year now and founded La Vie, a plant-based startup hoping to revolutionize vegan meat. 


Rebecca Rosman/The World

He and his team have spent years trying to mimic that fatty layer using plant based proteins. But it’s almost impossible, he explained, because plant-based fats are usually oils that melt when heated. 

Years of testing in the lab seems to have paid off.  

In a sizzling hot pan, the streaky bacon starts curling within minutes, bubbling and crisping — just like bacon. 

And sure enough, the bacon is salty, fatty and crispy — successfully mimicking the texture that’s so difficult to re-create. 

It’s pretty close to the real thing. 

In a third-party survey La Vie ran, 250 meat eaters were invited to compare their vegan beacon to pork bacon, and 75% said they found the taste was “equivalent or superior [to pork bacon],” Schweizer said.

And 60% said they would be willing to swap pork bacon for La Vie bacon on a regular basis, he added. 

But this feat has gotten La Vie into trouble with France’s pork lobby, known as INAPORC

Earlier this year, INAPORC served La Vie with a formal notice for unfair competition for its veggie lardons which, they said, risked “deceiving customers” into thinking they were buying pork lardons. 

The pork lobby also said La Vie’s advertising violated the terms of a forthcoming law which bans plant-based food manufacturers from using words traditionally associated with meat products on their labels such as “sausage” “steak” and “bacon.”

La Vie's plant-based bacon tastes pretty close to the real thing. 


Rebecca Rosman/The World

In response, La Vie took out a full-page ad in the newspaper Le Parisien thanking INAPORC for the compliment and asking the pork lobby to consider changing its recipes.

The ad also featured a postcard cutout addressed to INAPORC, inviting La Vie fans to send it to the pork lobby. 

Over the summer, the Supreme Court agreed to put the label law, set to take effect this October, on hold.

La Vie hopes the law will at least be modified.

INAPORC declined to comment, saying it didn’t want to speak publicly about an ongoing case.

The pork butchers at the former Les Halles market near Rue Montorgueil in central Paris aren’t as tight-lipped.

Laura Spencer, a butcher at Les Terroirs d’Avenir, which sells local organic produce, cheeses, meats and other products, calls the whole debacle silly. 

“This all gets a little bit too far-fetched and it's just trying to create an even bigger gap between those who do eat meat and those who don't eat meat,” she said. 

But she also said she’s not a fan of plant-based meat alternatives.

“You can do so many other things with vegetables and get the same results without having to recreate false burgers and sausages and stuff like that.”

But Schweizer said the issue is that many vegans — like him — love the taste of meat.

“To have an option to retrieve all the pleasure that you get from meat — from a taste perspective — without all those negative impacts is amazing,” he said. 

La Vie's plant-based bacon has upset the pork lobby in France. 


Rebecca Rosman/The World

Indeed, animal farming is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions today. 

He hopes that eventually the meat industry will be phased out entirely. 

Along with coal and other industries that are damaging for the environment, he said it’s time for our society to transition to something that’s more sustainable. 

“The personification of dignity”: world leaders about Elizabeth II

On September 8, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain died at the age of 96. She spent a record 70 years on the throne. In their condolences, world leaders call her a symbol of Britain and a source of strength and confidence ” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Prince Charles and Elizabeth II (Photo: Matt Dunham/Getty Images)

Prince Charles (son of Elizabeth II and the new king of Great Britain Charles III)

“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. I know that her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, kingdoms, commonwealth and countless people around the world.

Elizabeth II and Liz Truss (Photo: Jane Barlow/Getty Images)

Liz Truss, British Prime Minister

“Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her rule. UK— the great country that exists now is thanks to her. <…> This is an outstanding achievement— to rule with such dignity and grace for 70 years.

Elizabeth II and Vladimir Putin (Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/Reuters)

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

“The most important events of the recent history of the United Kingdom are inextricably linked with the name of Her Majesty. For many decades, Elizabeth II rightfully enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects, as well as authority on the world stage.

Elizabeth II and Joe Biden (Photo: Richard Pohle/Getty Images)

Joe Biden, President of the United States(Joint Statement by US President and First Lady Jill Biden)

“In a world of constant change, she has been a constant source of comfort and pride to generations of Britons, including many who never knew their country before her. Enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II has united people across the Commonwealth. The seven decades of her historic reign have witnessed unprecedented human progress and the advancement of human dignity.

She was the first British monarch with whom people all over the world felt a personal and immediate connection— whether they heard her on the radio as a young princess speaking to the children of the United Kingdom, or gathered around the television sets for her coronation, or watched her last Christmas speech or her platinum anniversary on their phones. And she, in turn, dedicated her whole life to serving them.

Elizabeth II and Emmanuel Macron (Photo: Jack Hill/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has embodied the continuity and unity of the British nation for over 70 years. I will remember her as a friend of France, a queen with a big heart, who will forever be remembered by her country and her age.

Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister of Germany

“We mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a role model and an inspiration to millions of people, including here in Germany. <…> Her commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will remain unforgettable.

António Guterres, UN Secretary General

“I offer my sincere condolences to her grieving family, to the government and people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and to the Commonwealth of Nations. <…> Queen Elizabeth was a good friend of the UN and visited New York headquarters twice. She was deeply committed to charitable work and environmental protection.

Elizabeth II and Narendra Modi (Photo: Dominic Lipinski/Getty Images)

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

“I will never forget her warmth and kindness. During one of the meetings, she showed me the handkerchief that Mahatma Gandhi had given her for her wedding. I will always cherish this gesture. <…> She has provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people. She personified dignity and decency in public life. Saddened by her death. My thoughts are with her family and the people of Great Britain at this sad hour.

Michol Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland

“The reign of the queen commanded respect and admiration throughout the world. Her devotion to duty and public service was evident, and her wisdom and experience were truly unique. The Queen's death truly marked the end of an era. Her state visit to Ireland in 2011 was an important step in the normalization of relations with our closest neighbor.”

Vladimir Zelensky, President of Ukraine

“With profound We are saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the Ukrainian people, we express our sincere condolences to the royal family, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth countries in connection with this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Yitzhak Herzog, President of Israel

«Her departure— it's the end of an era. Together with the people of Israel, I mourn her loss and express my deepest condolences to the British people and to all the peoples of the Commonwealth who have lost their matriarch. <…> During her long and important reign, the world has changed, and the Queen has remained an icon of stable, responsible leadership and a beacon of morality, humanity and patriotism. <…> The Queen personified the spirit of honesty, duty and ancient traditions. 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >Elizabeth II and Justin Trudeau (Photo: Steve Parsons/Getty Images )

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“It is with heavy hearts that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II <…> She was a constant presence in our lives, and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of the history of our country.

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Elizabeth II Windsor

Monarch, Queen of Great Britain

April 21, 1926

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Bloomberg: Germany and France urged to fight “propaganda” inside Russia

Berlin and Paris propose to fight Russian “propaganda” in the European Union with the help of social networks.

Photo: pixabay. com

Bloomberg reported that Berlin and Paris are proposing to fight Russian “propaganda” in the European Union with the help of social networks. In particular, they propose measures that include courses and tools to circumvent censorship.

The publication clarifies that these methods are spelled out in an informal document that will be considered before the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministry on the visa issue. The document invites the EU to use “creative ways” to disseminate independent information in Russia.

In particular, the experts proposed the creation and funding of courses in Russian on literacy regarding information disseminated in the media. These courses could be distributed by bloggers on social networks such as VKontakte, Telegram and YouTube. It is also possible to use tools to circumvent Internet censorship.

Among other things, Germany and France propose to maintain open channels for communication with Moscow, despite anti-Russian sanctions and support for Ukraine.


Bloomberg learned about the idea of ​​Germany and France to teach Russians media literacy

Bloomberg: Germany and France proposed measures to the EU “to combat propaganda inside Russia” Berlin and Paris invited the European Union to think about “creative ways” that would allow “fighting propaganda inside Russia”, bypassing Internet censorship and obtaining independent information, Bloomberg found out source srcset=” 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min- device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz

Germany and France proposed to take measures “to combat propaganda inside Russia” in order to “drive a wedge” between representatives of the Russian authorities and citizens of the country, reports Bloomberg. According to the agency, Berlin and Paris sent the states— Members of the EU, Defending the International Order in an Era of Systemic Competition: EU-Russia Relations prepared by technical experts.

According to the agency, in a non-paper document, Berlin and Paris call on the EU to explore “creative ways” to allow the dissemination of independent information within Russia. The plan includes the use of “technical measures against Russian censorship” on the Internet, as well as providing Russian-language content for Russian-speakers who live abroad.

Another proposal involves funding media literacy courses in Russian that could be distributed by video bloggers on YouTube, in Facebook (Meta, the company that owns the social network, has been declared extremist and banned in Russia), TikTok, Telegram and VKontakte, Bloomberg reports, citing the document.

Germany and France are also urging the EU to maintain channels of communication with the Russian authorities, despite the imposition of sanctions, in order to minimize the risk of unintended escalation and maintain “minimal cooperation” on issues such as the nuclear deal with Iran.

According to Bloomberg, the document was circulated among countries— members of the EU in the run-up to the meeting of foreign ministers in Prague on August 30-31, which will discuss the issue of a ban on issuing visas to Russian tourists.

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In March, shortly after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, Russia passed a law that criminalizes fakes about the actions of Russian troops. Roskomnadzor demanded that the media that cover what is happening rely only on data from official Russian sources. Since the beginning of hostilities, the department has blocked hundreds of Russian and foreign publications in Russia. Social networks were also blocked— Facebook, Instagram (also owned by Meta, which was recognized by the Russian court as extremist and banned in the country) and Twitter.

At the same time, Russian authorities have repeatedly filed claims against YouTube for blocking various channels, including state media, and demanded to restore access to them. At the end of February, YouTube banned the monetization of some Russian publications, and then began blocking the pages of Russian TV channels.

In the spring, The Telegraph reported that the British Government Information Cell (GIC) was buying advertising on Russian social networks, including “Vkontakte”, to combat “Russian disinformation” about the fighting in Ukraine. VK said that the information is not true, and all advertising on the social network platform is moderated and must comply with the law.

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France and Germany will support the continuation of the issuance of EU visas to Russians

Countries believe that entry permits should be given to people “not affiliated with the state”, including students and scientists

France and Germany intend to advocate continuing to issue EU visas to Russians, they will announce this during an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Prague next week, writes Bloomberg, citing document prepared by the countries for the meeting.

In it, Paris and Berlin express their confidence that the EU should continue issuing visas to Russians “not affiliated with the government”, in particular students, artists, scientists and professionals.

“Understanding the concerns of some countries members of the [EU] in this respect, we must not underestimate the transformative power of the experience of living in democratic states, especially in relation to future generations,— says the document.

During the meeting in Prague, it is also planned to discuss a compromise option on visas for Russian citizens, which was previously proposed by the Czech Republic: to suspend the simplified visa regime with Russia and Belarus. This means that citizens of these countries will have to collect more documents for applying for a visa, it will take longer to process them, and the visa fee will increase from €35 to €80.

This option should become an alternative to the complete cessation of the issuance of European visas to Russians, which was previously proposed by the Czech Republic. However, so far there is no unity in the European Union on this issue. Such drastic measures were opposed by several members of the union, including Germany and Austria. Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged to remember the Russians who do not agree with the policy of Moscow and leave the country because of this. In the event of a ban on entry into the European Union, they may be in a vulnerable position, he stressed.

At the same time, Brussels explained that it was impossible to make a decision at the level of the entire association, since the EU Visa Code does not contain the possibility of stopping the issuance of short-stay visas. “There are always categories of citizens for whom visas must be issued, for example in humanitarian cases, for family members, journalists or dissidents,” — clarified the representative of the European Commission Anita Hipper.

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The state of religion in France

“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>The state of religion in France

For years, people have been questioning the concept of laicité — France's strict form of secularism — and how it plays into religious freedom. In this special hour of The World airing on Saturday, Paris-based reporter Rebecca Rosman takes a trip across France where she speaks to Catholics, Jews, Muslims and atheists about their right to believe, or not to believe.

The WorldAugust 26, 2022 · 7:00 AM EDT

A Virgin Mary in a public square in France.

Rebecca Rosman/The World

Does France’s strict form of secularism violate religious freedoms?

It’s hardly a novel question these days. For years, people have been questioning the concept of laicité — France's strict form of secularism — and how it plays into religious freedom.

In recent years, French President Emmanuel Macron has tightened the government’s grip on laicité, causing people of all faiths to accuse his administration of sometimes going too far.

That’s especially true for French Muslims.

Last summer, French lawmakers adopted a highly controversial “anti-separatism” bill.

For Macron, who spearheaded the bill, the legislation is designed to stop “Islamist separatism,” by reinforcing French secularist principles.

But for many Muslims, the law — which contains 51 articles aimed at curbing radicalization — targets their ability to practice their religion freely.

Jean-Paul Héraudeau stands in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary in a town in France.


Rebecca Rosman/The World

But it’s not just Muslims who say they sometimes feel hindered in their ability to practice their religion openly.

In this special hour of The World, Paris-based reporter Rebecca Rosman takes a trip across France where she speaks to Catholics, Jews, Muslims and atheists about their right to believe, or not to believe, in France today.

There’s the story of one town’s battle to keep a statue of the Virgin Mary standing in a public square.

One man’s plan to create a “French Islam” and the backlash behind it.

The French Jews who say they don’t feel safe practicing their religion at home.

The guiding principles behind the right to commit blasphemy.

And much more.

Related: Sacred Nation series on Evangelicals in Brazil

Macron warns France of ‘end of affluence’ and difficult winter

French president's statements criticized for being dismissive of the poor

Emmanuel Macron warned the French of the “end of abundance” and France's upcoming difficult winter. The president's pessimistic speech was criticized as a dismissive attitude towards the poor, who had already made sacrifices.

Photo: AP

President Macron told the French that they were facing more casualties and what he called “the end of affluence” at the first cabinet meeting after the summer break.

As The Guardian writes, the head of the Fifth Republic, speaking to ministers in Elysee Palace, said the country is at a “tipping point” and will face a difficult winter and a new era of instability caused by climate change and the conflict in Ukraine.

Macron's cautionary and somber speech was immediately criticized by opponents as ill-conceived and dismissive of the country's unemployed and poor, who had already made sacrifices. The French president's dire predictions came after a summer of extreme temperatures, widespread wildfires, drought and storms.

Macron said that France and the French are facing a series of crises, “each worse than the last.”

“What we are now experiencing serves as a kind of tipping point or great shock … we are experiencing the end of what could seem like an era of abundance … the end of the abundance of technology products that seemed always available … the end of the abundance of land and materials, including water, “stated Macron.

The French head of state thanked “our firefighters, elected representatives and farmers who have faced fires and drought.”

Macron added that France, Europe and the world may have been too “indifferent” to threats to democracy and human rights, and to “the rise of illiberal regimes and the strengthening of authoritarian regimes.”

“This review that I am giving, the end of exuberance, the end of carelessness, the end of speculation is, ultimately, a tipping point that we are going through that could cause our citizens great anxiety,” he said.

Commenting on the president's speech, Philippe Martinez, general secretary of the influential CGT trade union, said that Macron's comments were “inappropriate” and that many in France had never known abundance.

“When we talk about the end of abundance, I think of the millions of unemployed, millions of those who are in a difficult situation. For many French people, hard times have already come, the sacrifices have already been made, ”says Martinez.

The president's warnings came as it emerged that dividends paid out by major French companies hit a record €44bn in the second quarter of 2022 in what was described as exceptional earnings in 2021. The economic newspaper Les Echos reported that the dividend payout rose by almost 33% compared to the previous year and was the result of an economic recovery after the pandemic.

Macron was re-elected president for a second five-year term in April, but lost his parliamentary majority in the next general election.

The President, who is leaving on Thursday for a three-day visit to Algiers, told ministers that measures to combat the climate emergency and its impacts, as well as those focusing on renewable energy, should be a priority this fall, and he called for a “general mobilization.”

Prime Minister Elisabeth Bourne is expected to detail the new measures at the annual conference hosted by Medef, the French employers' federation, next Monday.

Earlier this month, Macron said this autumn and winter would be difficult for countries at risk of energy shortages and high prices as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, and this is the “price of freedom”.

Critics have accused the president of not setting a clear goal for his second term. His government will need to forge alliances to get the 2023 budget through a divided parliament. The government is also facing a struggle to pass campaign manifesto measures, including changes to the unemployment benefit and pension system that would put it on a path of direct confrontation with the left and unions.

Bernard Sananes of the Elabe opinion polls says that Macron is preparing the French for bad times. “This is a kind of political expectation. If the situation does become difficult, the president should announce it in advance so that it does not appear that events have taken him and his government by surprise,” Sananes tells AFP.

French Communist Party leader Fabien Roussel, presidential candidate earlier this year, expressed surprise at Macron's speech: “Incredible! As if the French did not worry about anything and pampered themselves. We have 10 million poor people in France because of the negligence of President Macron and the predatory behavior of the rich.”


France denies reports of dog being infected with monkeypox

Reported earlier in The Lancet about the detection of the first case of monkeypox in France after contact with the owners is not true, writes the newspaper Le Parisien.

In an article dated August 10, researchers at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris reported not only the fact of smallpox transmission from human to pet, but also the presence of “a real canine disease, and not just acting as a carrier of the virus.”

Christophe Cordvan, a researcher at France's National Sanitary Security Agency (ANSES) and co-author of the study, denied these claims. According to him, specialists received the results of an additional study, according to which the dog did not suffer from monkeypox.

“She really was a carrier of the virus, but she did not develop the disease,” the scientist noted.

At the same time, characteristic skin rashes and ulcers turned out to be just a coincidence, the lesions are not associated with the disease. The dog, Cordvan said, is not contagious and does not pose a danger to other animals in terms of the transmission of the monkeypox virus. 

Meanwhile, 35,000 cases of monkeypox have already been confirmed in the world in 92 countries. Most of the cases have been reported in Europe. 12 deaths have also been confirmed.

WHO draws attention to the fact that existing vaccines against monkeypox do not provide 100% protection, people themselves must take precautions so as not to get infected.

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France questioned its readiness for a “conflict of high intensity”

The French fleet has the smallest number of ships since the middle of the last century, it will continue to decline, the republic's navy warned. The chief of staff considered that the army was weakened due to a long participation only in asymmetric conflicts type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The French armed forces have an insufficient number of long-range artillery pieces and ammunition in case of participation in a “high-intensity conflict”, and the republic's navy is also weakened. This was stated in July by participants in closed parliamentary hearings with the participation of representatives of the General Staff of the French Armed Forces, the minutes of the meetings were published by the French National Assembly.

“20 years of asymmetric conflicts and selective participation [in them] led to compromises that reduced certain possibilities»,— said Chief of Staff General Thierry Burcart.

At the same time, for 32 years (since 1990), the French navy has halved, said, in turn, the head of the headquarters of the French Navy, Admiral Pierre Vandieu. He continued: the maritime space is again becoming a battlefield, China, Great Britain and Australia are making efforts to rearm the fleet, but France has the seventh largest naval tonnage in the world.

“The navy will continue to shrink over the next two years. Since 1945, the navy has never been smaller than it is today, — Vandieu stressed.

Increase the purchase of drones, strengthen air defense and artillery, called on the Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces, General Pierre Schill. He said that the artillery potential of the French army would soon increase to 76, and then to 106 guns. “What we're seeing in Ukraine makes me think we need to go even further,” — he added.

At the same time, French Defense Minister Sebastian Lecornu called “incredible” new developments of the military-industrial complex of the country, indicating that many states envy them. He assured: “This is not only about such well-known companies as Dassault or Naval Group.”

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French President Emmanuel Macron warned in March that a conflict of “high intensity” could break out in Europe, in connection with which the financing of the armed forces should be increased. He promised that by 2025 annual defense spending will rise to €50 billion a year (France's defense budget for 2022 was €40 billion). The President explained that France must “increase flexibility and adaptability in the face of new types of threats.” At the same time, France does not want new conflicts, Macron emphasized.

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Yogurt method. How Katz proved France was doomed

Plot World History with Andrey Sidorchik

The main problem of modern politicians and public figures is that a significant part of them do not consider it necessary to study this or that phenomenon in depth at all. It is enough to throw in a statement that becomes the banner of another campaign.

“Greetings to the lovers of the USSR”

A former municipal deputy, a former member of the Yabloko party, a blogger recognized by the Russian Ministry of Justice as a blogger-foreign agent, Maxim Kats now zealously supports the Ukrainian authorities during a special military operation, condemning the “unrighteous” Russian actions. At the same time, the rhetoric of Katz's speeches suggests that he understands about nothing about the subject of Russian-Ukrainian relations and the history of the conflict.

But, in order to better understand the level of a bright representative of the camp of those who promise to lead Russia away from “Putin's Russia”; before “democratic prosperity”, it is worth turning to yogurt.

The network remembers everything, including one of the posts that Mr. Katz published in 2018: “Do you know such a thing as yogurt? But your parents did not know until 1991. They appeared only under Gaidar, before that they did not exist in principle. The Soviet industry did not know how to make yogurt. Tank — please, yogurt — no way. Big hello to fans of the USSR.

Soviet hamburger of the Great Terror era

Katz is not lying — even in Moscow during the Soviet years, everyone had a rather vague idea of ​​what yogurt was. Although this fermented milk product has been known since antiquity, it was mentioned in the culinary books of the Russian Empire and the USSR, and since 1965 it has been produced in Riga at a local dairy plant in small batches.

But the masses in the Soviet Union did not consume yogurt. At the same time, for some reason, there was no suffering from yogurt either. “Sour milk”, unlike the same notorious “Coca-Cola”, no one deified or cursed.

To understand what's going on here, here's another example. Hamburgers in the Soviet Union first appeared not during perestroika, but at the height of the Great Terror, in 1937. Stalls appeared on the streets of Moscow and other Soviet cities, where they offered “Hot Moscow Patty with a Bun” for 50 kopecks, and in addition to it a carbonated drink. Yes, yes, this is such a Western fast food in the era of Comrade Stalin. The author of the innovation was Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan, who, after a trip to the United States, diligently introduced interesting overseas know-how into the Soviet food industry.

Citizens accepted the Eskimo with a bang, but the “cutlet with a bun” alerted them. There was talk that a quality product cannot be sold like that, that it is generally some kind of wrong sandwich, etc. But Mikoyan did not lose heart and promised that the population would appreciate the hamburger. However, before the start of the war, the habit of fast food of this type was not fixed, and then it became not up to it. And it took another half a century for the hamburger to gain a foothold in our area.

The problem turned out to be not so much in the capabilities of the Soviet food industry, but in the eating habits of citizens.

France without cottage cheese: what the regime has brought

To prove this, let's look to the West, where the hamburger and yogurt have reigned for decades.

The fact that the attitude towards buckwheat, for example, in Russia and France is different, is not a secret for anyone. But the fact that Parisians until recently did not eat buckwheat porridge is not at all an indication of the weakness of the French food system. Buckwheat in France is used for flour or bird feed. However, recently, with an increase in the number of Russians in the country, local residents who love healthy food have begun to use the usual buckwheat porridge, and the cereal is sold in stores called Kasha.

But there is an even worse revelation. Once in Paris, the center of the civilized world, a Russian will be horrified to find that instead of the usual sour cream, he is offered a strange-tasting surrogate, and they don’t offer cottage cheese at all.

One goes, another comes

That is , all the power of France in the 21st century cannot give ordinary cottage cheese to people. Greetings to Paris lovers.

And the answer is simple — The French have different eating habits that change over time.

In the USSR, the mass consumer did not know what yogurt was, but he knew perfectly well what fruit kefir was. By an interesting coincidence, he disappeared from stores in the 1990s, simultaneously with the advent of yogurt. Modern fruit kefirs, produced in Russia, are a pale copy of the Soviet product. But this, too, does not cause a great tragedy for the Russians, and about “that” kefir is dreamed of mainly by older people, and young people are quite satisfied with yogurts.

In order to understand the mystery of the lack of yogurt in the USSR, you need to spend some time getting acquainted with the history of the issue. But then the loud thesis “tanks were made, but yogurts…” would disappear.

This does not mean that there were no problems in Soviet society. This means that today our past is branded by people with yogurt in their heads. One cannot figure out sour milk, another collects myths about Kolyma and the imprisoned ice cream maker, the third, looking at the Nazis point-blank, does not notice either the swastika or the corresponding slogans.

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Russians are no longer allowed into the Château de Vincennes in France

The Château de Vincennes houses the headquarters of the historical service of the French Ministry of Defense, which is responsible for the military archives. And access to the “military premises” of the ministry is closed to the Russians due to the events in Ukraine type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

View of the Vincennes castle

Due to the events in Ukraine, Russian citizens have been restricted access to the Château de Vincennes, the French Defense Ministry told AFP.

Vincennes— the largest royal fortified castle preserved in France. It was built in the 14th & 17th centuries. This castle is located in the commune of Vincennes in the eastern suburbs of Paris. It houses the headquarters of the Historical Defense Service of France, which is responsible for the management of military archives.

Tours are held in the castle— for security reasons, tourists are allowed inside with identification documents. Visitors can also access archival documents, but for this they must register on the website of this service and reserve the necessary documents in advance.

The castle is administered by both the Ministry of Culture (the building has been given the status of a historical monument) and the Ministry of Defense (because it is responsible for the historical defense service) of France.

As explained to the agency in the French Ministry of Defense, the Russians were limited access to the “military premises of the ministry” after the events in Ukraine. At the same time, they added that exceptions could be made for “requests regarding the work of journalists.”

According to AFP, two Russian women were denied entry to the Château de Vincennes in late July . One of the girls said that the guard at the metal detector asked her to show her passport, after which he said that she could not visit the castle.

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France forms anti-crisis headquarters to combat record drought

Over the past week, due to abnormal heat, a special regime was declared in 93 of the 96 administrative regions of France. The created anti-crisis commission will coordinate the water supply to the most affected areas.jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The French government has formed a crisis response unit to deal with the worst drought on record, Bloomberg reports, citing a statement by Prime Minister Elisabeth Bourne.

An interagency task force will coordinate water supplies to the hardest hit areas and monitor the impact of the drought on energy production and agriculture, the agency said. Bourne also urged citizens to conserve water and said restrictions would continue “where necessary.”

“This drought— the strongest ever recorded in our country. The lack of rain is exacerbated by the accumulation of successive heat waves that increase evaporation and the need for water, — underlined prime.

Over the past week, a special regime due to drought has been declared in 93 of the 96 administrative regions of France. The first level of warning includes limiting the cleaning of roads, sidewalks, watering green spaces, as well as reducing household water consumption. The Ministry of Agriculture of the country announced on the eve that due to hot and dry weather, the yield of major crops this year will decrease, including corn— by about 19%.

On July 18, the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (EC) reported that in the coming month, almost half of the EU is threatened by a severe drought. “Analysis of the spread of prolonged drought in the EU shows that 46% of the EU area is of serious concern in connection with the threat of drought. 11% of the EU is already experiencing problems due to lack of water,— experts indicated.

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According to the EC, drought could lead to an increase in forest fires and significant crop losses in Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia.

Previously, the introduction of a special regime due to drought announced the Netherlands. In particular, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Resources of the country, Mark Harbers, said that “the drought has led to the fact that national needs exceed the volumes of water entering the country through rivers and as a result of rains.”

At the same time, the authorities Germany was warned that because of record temperatures, Europe's largest river, the Rhine, was in danger of being closed to navigation. According to Bloomberg, the Rhine level could drop to 47cm by August 6-7. A representative of the Federal Institute of Hydrology of Germany said that this is a record low level for many decades, and if the river level drops to 40 cm, navigation on it will become impossible.

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The lawyer announced the sending of the Russian Vinnik from France to Greece

The defense believes that Vinnik from Greece will immediately be handed over to the United States. Earlier, the States withdrew their request for his extradition sent to France. The Russian himself asked to be extradited to Russia

Alexander Vinnik

Russian Alexander Vinnik was sent from France to Greece, lawyer Frederic Belo told RBC.

Earlier on August 4, the investigative chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal ruled on the extradition process of Vinnik to the United States. She granted the prosecutor's request to invalidate the request for extradition to the United States and to release Vinnik from extradition arrest, the lawyer said.

Belo believes that Vinnik will immediately be transferred from Greece to the United States in pursuance of the decision of the Minister of Justice of Greece, issued in 2019. The Russian will be sent to San Francisco, as it was the local court that issued the original arrest warrant, he explained.

Vinnik was arrested in July 2017 in Greece at the request of the United States. He was suspected of creating the BTC-e crypto exchange and laundering $4 billion through it. In addition to the United States and France, Russia sought the extradition of Vinnik, to the authorities of which he admitted in 2018 to embezzlement of 750 million rubles. Vinnik stated that he wanted a “voluntary” extradition to Russia.

In January 2020, Greece extradited Vinnik to France. There he is suspected of identity theft and extortion. The authorities of this country sentenced him to five years in prison.

The term of imprisonment ended on June 30, but the Russian was not allowed to leave the prison. According to Belo, extradition to Greece was planned for the same day: “Thus, at the moment when Vinnik was supposed to be released, he was again under arrest pending extradition.” The Russians were then to be handed over to the United States. However, the ECHR refused France to extradite Vinnik to Greece.

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The Netherlands and France warned of water shortages due to record heat

Due to abnormal heat and shallowing of rivers, some European countries are faced with a shortage of fresh water. In France and the Netherlands, most municipalities have introduced a special regime that provides for reduced water consumption type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

In most municipalities in the Netherlands and France, there is a shortage of fresh water due to record heat, the authorities have introduced a special regime, which, among other things, provides for reduced water consumption. This is reported by BFMTV and Dutch News, citing statements by the authorities.

In particular, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Resources of the Netherlands, Mark Harbers, said that “drought has led to the fact that national needs exceed the volumes of water entering the country by rivers and as a result of rains.

According to him, this situation will continue for a certain period, which means that new measures for the distribution of fresh water may be introduced in the near future. The minister also urged people to “thoroughly think about whether they should wash their car or completely fill the inflatable pool.”

The first level of danger, indicating an expected shortage of water, was introduced in the country on July 13, according to Dutch News. Now the danger has been raised to the second level, which means the actual shortage.

In France, due to the drought, a special regime was also introduced, it affected all 96 mainland departments of the country. The first level of warning includes limiting the cleaning of roads, sidewalks, watering green spaces, as well as reducing household water consumption. Currently, another 10-day wave of hot weather is expected in the country, BFMTV clarifies.

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Abnormal heat in recent weeks has been recorded in most of Western Europe: in particular, in Portugal it reached 46.3 degrees, and in Spain up to 42 degrees. In Portugal, Italy, France, Greece, the heat has led to strong forest fires. Experts attribute what is happening to climate change.

The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) urged travelers who plan trips to Europe to be more careful due to record heat in some countries and take into account possible disruptions in transport and tourist infrastructure .

Earlier, the main department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Moscow also reported that from August 3 to 6, the temperature in Moscow would rise to 30-33 degrees Celsius. “According to Roshydromet weather forecasters, in the daytime hours of August 3 & 6, intense heat is expected in Moscow with a maximum air temperature of 30 & ndash; 33 ° C & mdash; says the department's emergency warning.

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Rotaru’s grandson ended up in France after escaping from Ukraine

The grandson of the singer Sophia Rotaru Anatoly Evdokimenko published a photo on his social networks, judging by which he is not in Ukraine, but in France.

The picture posted by the grandson of Rotaru shows The Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The media reported earlier that a group of nine people was detained at the Ukrainian-Moldovan border, including the son and grandson of Sophia Rotaru Ruslan and Anatoly Evdokimenko. They were detained near the city of Mogilev-Podolsky for trying to illegally cross the state border of Ukraine.

The artist Sofia Rotaru and her family have not yet commented on the departure of Anatoly Evdokimenko from Ukraine.

Earlier, actor Oscar Kuchera denied showman Alexander Revva's emigration to Spain.

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France announced the launch of a “mechanism” on human rights in Russia in the OSCE

The French Foreign Ministry announced the launch of the Moscow Mechanism for Human Rights in Russia The situation of human rights in Russia has caused alarm among 38 OSCE member states, the Moscow Mechanism has been launched to assess the situation, the French Foreign Ministry said. The Russian Foreign Ministry previously accused OSCE experts of politicization media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Most of the OSCE countries, due to the “alarming situation” in the field of observance of human rights in Russia and the introduction of a large number of “restrictive and repressive measures”; involved the Moscow mechanism. This was announced by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The commission should assess the state of Russia's fulfillment of its obligations and identify the actions of the Russian government that led to the current situation with human rights and fundamental freedoms,”— the ministry said.

As part of this mechanism, a group of independent experts will prepare a report on the most serious threats to Russia's OSCE commitments. In particular— regarding democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, the French Foreign Ministry said.

This is the third time that France has participated in the launch of the Moscow Mechanism, the previous two were associated with a Russian special operation in Ukraine. Now the launch of the mechanism has been supported by 38 OSCE member states, in total 57 countries are members of the organization.

Within the framework of the Moscow Mechanism, OSCE experts have not previously recognized Belarus as a party to the armed conflict in Ukraine, despite the use by Russian forces of its territory for strikes. “As of April 1, it [Belarus] is not a party to an armed conflict until it itself commits acts of violence or other actions that would constitute direct participation in hostilities,” — said in the report.

The OSCE has various mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of commitments in the field of human rights and democracy, one of them — the “mechanism of the human dimension”, of which the Moscow Mechanism is a part. It allows the formation of independent panels of experts to “assist in resolving specific problems.”

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The Moscow Mechanism was established about 30 years ago— in 1991, in the development of a similar Vienna Mechanism. It was activated, among other things, in 1992 after reports of attacks on civilians in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1999— because of the NATO military operation in the former Yugoslavia. The mechanism was used from 2002 to 2020 to assess events related to human rights violations. Among other things, in Russia, Belarus and Turkmenistan.

The Russian authorities criticized the conclusions of experts working within the framework of the Moscow Mechanism. “There is a desire to use these OSCE mechanisms not to strengthen cooperation <…> and in order to politicize certain issues of the humanitarian sphere. Such an approach is an abuse of the tools of the OSCE»,— said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova. Official Minsk saw the launch of the Moscow mechanism as an “odious overt” double standard “, the Turkmen authorities— attempts to exert pressure.

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France launched an investigation into the assets of Russian businessmen

The prosecutor's office will study under what conditions Russian businessmen were able to accumulate “significant real estate assets” in France. This country is among the top 6 European countries in terms of frozen Russian assets ” alt=”France launched an investigation into the assets of Russian businessmen” />

The building of the National Financial Prosecutor's Office of France

The French National Financial Prosecutor's Office launched a preliminary investigation into the assets of Russian businessmen in the country, Le Parisien reported.

The prosecutor's office will study under what conditions entrepreneurs were able to accumulate “significant real estate assets” in France.

According to the department, the investigation was launched on July 1 by the Central Office for Combating Major Financial Crimes. The case was opened after a complaint filed in Paris at the end of May by the anti-corruption non-governmental organization Transparency International (its Russian branch was recognized by the Russian Ministry of Justice as an NGO-foreign agent). “Entrepreneurs and high-ranking officials” suspected of money laundering, TASS clarifies.

From late February to mid-July, the European Union froze the assets of Russian businessmen, individuals and legal entities that fell under sanctions, in the amount of €13.8 billion, said European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders. According to him, most of this amount— «12.7 billion accounted for by six countries: Germany, Ireland and France, as well as Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, while other EU countries «report only very small amounts».

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian Security Council, compared the restrictive measures imposed against entrepreneurs to the inquisition and warned that Western authorities would face a large number of lawsuits because of their desire to abolish ownership of Russian businesses.

A number of Russian businessmen who fell under the sanctions have already challenged this decision in the EU court. Among them — Roman Abramovich, Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman, Alexei Mordashov and Alisher Usmanov. According to Friedman, Western countries, when imposing restrictions, do not understand “how power in Russia actually works,” while the distance between the Russian leadership and anyone else is “like the distance between the Earth and space.”

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Europe broils in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

“MuiTypography-root-126 MuiTypography-h1-131″>Europe broils in heat wave that fuels fires in France, Spain

The hot weather in the UK was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off. French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country's southwest.

Associated PressJuly 18, 2022 · 10:15 AM EDT

This photo provided by the fire brigade of the Gironde region (SDIS 33) shows a wildfire near Landiras, southwestern France, July 17, 2022 . Firefighters battled wildfires raging out of control in France and Spain on Sunday as Europe wilted under an unusually extreme heat wave that authorities in Madrid blamed for hundreds of deaths.

SDIS 33 via AP

A heat wave broiling Europe spilled northward Monday to Britainand fueled ferocious wildfires in Spain and France, which evacuated thousands of people and scrambled water-bombing planes and firefighters to battle flames spreading through tinder-dry forests.

Two people were killed in the blazes in Spain that the country's prime minister linked to global warming, saying: “Climate change kills."

In recent days, unusually high temperatures have gripped swaths of Europe, triggering wildfires from Portugal to the Balkan region. Some countries are also experiencing extended droughts. Climate change makes such life-threatening extremes less of a rarity — and has brought heat waves even to places like Britain, which braced for possibly record-breaking temperatures.

The hot weather in the UK was expected to be so severe this week that train operators warned it could warp the rails and some schools set up wading pools to help children cool off.

French forecasters also warned of possible record temperatures as swirling hot winds complicated firefighting efforts in the country's southwest.

“The fire is literally exploding,” said Marc Vermeulen, the regional fire service chief who described tree trunks shattering as flames consumed them, sending burning embers into the air and further spreading the blazes.

“We’re facing extreme and exceptional circumstances,” he said.

Authorities started evacuating more towns, moving another 11,500 people from areas at risk of finding themselves in the path of the fires and their thick clouds of choking smoke. That will take the number of people who have been forced out of their homes in the Gironde region to nearly 28,000 since the wildfires began July 12.

Three additional planes were sent to join six others already fighting the fires, scooping up seawater into their tanks and making repeated runs through dense clouds of smoke, the Interior Ministry said Sunday night.

More than 200 reinforcements headed to join the 1,500-strong force of firefighters battling night and day to contain the blazes in the Gironde, where flames neared prized vineyards and the Arcachon maritime basin famed for its oysters and beaches.

Spain, meanwhile, reported a second fatality in two days as it battled its own blazes. The body of a 69-year-old sheep farmer was found Monday in the same hilly area where a 62-year-old firefighter died a day earlier when he was trapped by flames in the northwestern Zamora province. More than 30 forest fires around Spain have forced the evacuation of thousands of people and blackened 220 square kilometers (85 square miles) of forest and scrub.

Climate scientists say heat waves are more intense, more frequent and longer because of climate change — and coupled with droughts have made wildfires harder to fight. They say climate change will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.

“Climate change kills,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Monday during a visit to the Extremadura region, where firefighters tackled three major blazes. “It kills people, it kills our ecosystems and biodiversity."

Teresa Ribera, Spain’s minister for ecological transition, described her country as “literally under fire” as she attended talks on climate change in Berlin.

She warned of “terrifying prospects still for the days to come" — after more than 10 days of temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), cooling only moderately at night.

According to Spain’s Carlos III Institute, which records daily temperature-related fatalities, 237 deaths were attributed to high temperatures from July 10 to 14. That was compared to 25 heat-related deaths the previous week.

The heat wave in Spain is forecast to ease on Tuesday, but the respite will be brief as temperatures rise again on Wednesday, especially in the dry western Extremadura region.

In Britain, officials have issued the first-ever extreme heat warning, and the weather service forecast that the record high of 38.7 C (101.7 F), set in 2019, could be shattered.

“Forty-one isn’t off the cards,” said Met Office CEO Penelope Endersby. “We’ve even got some 43s in the model, but we’re hoping it won’t be as high as that.”

The Balkans region has also seen sporadic wildfires, and is expecting the worst of the heat later this week.

Early on Monday, authorities in Slovenia said firefighters managed to bring one fire under control. Croatia sent a water-dropping plane there to help battle the flames after struggling last week with its own wildfires along the Adriatic Sea coast. A fire in Sibenik forced some people to evacuate their homes but was later extinguished.

In Portugal, much cooler weather Monday helped fire crews make progress against blazes. More than 600 firefighters attended four major fires in northern Portugal.

France declares orange weather alert for several regions

“Orange” The level of weather danger has been announced in 38 departments of France due to intense heat, the national meteorological service Meteo-France reported.

According to weather forecasts, the heat will not subside in the coming days. In areas of the south-east of France on Sunday the air temperature will reach 40 degrees Celsius. It will exceed 30 degrees across the country.

Thunderstorms are possible on Wednesday, which, according to meteorologists, can put an end to this emergency.

Note that abnormal heat is observed in other countries of Europe. In Spain, more than 230 people died in five days due to hot weather.

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The head of the Ministry of Economy of France urged to prepare for the cessation of gas supplies

Bruno Le Maire called it “most likely” that Russia would refuse to supply gas to Europe. Previously, similar concerns were expressed in Germany after Moscow announced the suspension of Nord Stream for two weeks for scheduled maintenance

Bruno Le Maire

French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire urged to prepare for the fact that Russia is completely cut off the gas. His words are quoted by Politico.

“Let's get ready for a complete cessation of Russian gas supplies. As of today, this is most likely, — Le Maire said.

He added that the government would determine which companies would receive support first in the event of gas supply disruptions. In addition, it remains to be decided which companies should and should not reduce their energy consumption.

Concerns about Russia's possible refusal to supply gas were expressed earlier in Germany, after the Russian side reduced the volume of pumping through the Nord Stream gas pipeline. and announced the suspension from 11 to 21 July of deliveries for routine maintenance. In particular, such a possibility was not ruled out by the Minister of Economics and the head of the Federal Network Agency of Germany, Klaus Müller. The authorities urged to save gas wherever possible. The country has an emergency warning regime due to the situation with gas. In response to Berlin's fears, the Kremlin assured that “Russia is very, very careful about its reputation, towards the reputation of a responsible supplier.”

In mid-June, Gazprom reduced the volume of gas pumped through Nord Stream; to Germany, first up to 100 million cubic meters. m of fuel per day from 167 million cubic meters. m, and then— up to 67 million cubic meters m, referring to the untimely return of the turbine from repair. The Siemens Energy engine is based in Montreal. Its return to Russia was delayed due to sanctions imposed by Canada.

Ultimately, the Canadian authorities decided to send the turbine first to Germany, and then, as Reuters reported, Germany would transfer it to Gazprom.

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The Kremlin rejects “any hints” to the fact that Russia uses oil and gas “as a weapon of political pressure”, claiming that it is fulfilling its obligations and “still able to guarantee the complete energy security of Europe”.

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The Foreign Ministry accused France of violating the secrecy of the talks between Putin and Macron

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova accused France of violating the secrecy of the talks between Putin and Macron =”The Foreign Ministry accused France of violating the secrecy of the talks between Putin and Macron” />

Emmanuel Macron

France violated the confidentiality of President Emmanuel Macron's talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. This was stated by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova in the program “Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov”, TASS reports.

“When calls are made at the highest level, this, of course, is a confidential story. It turned out that a couple of months ago, when Macron called the President of Russia, the entire conversation was recorded by a journalistic camera with journalists who were sitting and filming it all, — she said.

On June 30, France 2 TV channel premiered a documentary film about the Elysee Palace directed by Guy Lagache. The picture was called “President, Europe and War”. It tells about Macron's attempts to reduce tensions around Ukraine, including through a conversation with Putin on February 20— four days before the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine.

The publication Le Temps published a transcript of the negotiations between the presidents a few days before the release of the film. During the call, Putin accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of lying about preparing to implement the Minsk agreements. Macron reaffirmed his commitment to the opinion that they must be carried out.

“Listen, Emmanuel, I don't understand what your problem is with the separatists. At least they did everything necessary, at our insistence, to start a constructive dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities,— then said the Russian president.

The presidents then argued about the right of the “separatists” to draw up a roadmap on the situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which, under the Minsk agreements, were to be considered by the authorities of Ukraine.

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Later, the French leader invited Putin to hold a meeting of all parties to the Ukrainian conflict. The Russian president promised to study the proposal after the conversation.

In addition, Macron asked Putin to “calm down” their troops near the border with Ukraine. The Russian leader promised that the military exercises would end on the evening of February 20, but indicated that the troops would remain at the border until the situation in Donbass was resolved.

During the conversation, the French president conveyed to his Russian counterpart the words of US leader Joe Biden that that he is ready to meet in Geneva in the next few days.

Tags Persons

Emmanuel Macron

Politician, President of France

December 21, 1977

Vladimir Putin

politician, president of Russia

October 7, 1952

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The results of the parliamentary elections in France called a warning to European politicians

The search for a compromise with the new composition of the government will become more difficult

On June 19, it became known that the coalition of French President Emmanuel Macron “Together!” did not receive an absolute majority of seats in the National Assembly in the second round of parliamentary elections. Political scientist Yuri Svetov believes that without the advantage in parliament of the ruling party, it will be more difficult for Macron to promote unpopular reforms.

Photo: Global Look Press

In an interview with Vechernyaya Moskva, Svetov explained that during the presidential elections Macron managed to stop the questions that the French had for him. In particular, this concerns questions about the standard of living and problems against the background of support for sanctions against Russia. According to the political scientist, the current president managed to reverse this trend, since Marine Le Pen became the main enemy. The expert noted that Macron played the game for the second time, that the French would collapse if they got Le Pen, but after the presidential elections there were no prospects for improving the situation.

In addition, according to Svetov, the French see Macron's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine and think that Ukrainians are more important for the president than their own people. The expert clarified that in the parliamentary elections, French citizens had the opportunity not to choose between “good and evil”, as was the case in the presidential elections.

The political scientist explained that Macron managed to gain an advantage in the elections and the most mandates, but not an absolute majority in parliament, and the number of mandates has significantly decreased compared to the previous elections. Moreover, according to Svetov, Mélenchon, who shared second and third place with Le Pen in the presidential election, has now received second place, and the French, who criticize the current government, have supported Le Pen. The expert was amazed at her results, noting that third place would allow her to create a faction and solve some problems.

According to the political scientist, for the previous five years, the authorities could dictate something, to which the “yellow vests” movement received, but now it won’t work out like that. Svetov believes that it will be difficult to push through, he will have to give in, Le Pen will not meet halfway, and it is difficult to agree with Mélenchon, and he may demand payment, which may even be the post of prime minister.

In addition, the political scientist noted that the situation in France is a warning to many politicians in the EU countries. In particular, according to Svetov, this concerns German Chancellor Scholz and his party, since elections to the parliaments of the states are planned in Germany. And also, as the expert noted, this is a serious “call” for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who after some time may resign, despite the vote won in the party after the vote of no confidence announced.

Svetov believes that the French government will have to reckon with the fact that many French people are dissatisfied with the amount of money that is being spent on Ukraine. The expert does not believe that this will affect the country's behavior regarding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, since Mélenchon also supports Ukraine, and in any case, the key position is set by the United States. The political scientist added that the French are allowed a little initiative, but it's like a game of good and evil investigator, where France plays the role of a good investigator. However, according to Svetov, when it comes to sanctions, they are “right there”, and the country is also demonstrating its readiness to supply weapons.

Read also:The State Duma assessed the prospects for ending supplies of Western weapons to Ukraine


Why the results of the parliamentary elections in France were compared to an earthquake

The coalition of the left and the party of Marine Le Pen became the triumphs of the last parliamentary elections in France, and the presidential coalition “Together!” did not receive an absolute majority.

Why Mélenchon and Le Pen rejoice

On Monday, June 20, the results of the parliamentary elections were summed up in France. They went through two rounds, on June 12 and 19. 577 deputies of the lower house are elected in majoritarian districts, and in order to win, the applicant must gain a majority (in total, 6293 candidates were registered). As a result of the elections, the “Together!” coalition, which supports President Emmanuel Macron, received the largest number of mandates (245) in the National Assembly. It includes the Renaissance party created by Macron; (formerly Forward Republic!), the centrist Democratic Movement and the centre-right Horizons and “Act.” However, this is not an absolute majority, as in the parliament of the outgoing convocation, where the coalition had 350 seats immediately after the 2017 elections (however, then their number was reduced to 267).

The recently elected President of France lost his absolute majority in parliament for the first time since 1988, Reuters calculated.

Government spokeswoman Olivia Grégoire, on the RMC-BFM radio station, said that the coalition was counting on better results, but even in this situation, the results cannot be considered a defeat for Macron: “The French have voted in elections four times in recent months and each time gave first place to the presidential bloc.” ;,— Grégoire explained, referring to the presidential elections that also took place in the spring in two rounds.

The second in terms of the number of mandates was the union of the left parties “New People's Ecological and Social Union”; (NUPES)— 131 places. It includes the party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who came third in the spring presidential election, France Insubordinate, as well as the socialists, the Greens. and communists. Mélenchon called the loss of former positions by the presidential coalition a victory.

Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party came third for the first time, with a record number of votes and 89 seats. This significantly exceeds the party's position in the previous parliament, where it had only eight seats. “This group will certainly be the largest in the history of our political family,” — Le Pen said on Sunday, promising her supporters that she will defend the party's line on immigration and security (she proposes to limit the first and strengthen the second).

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Right-wing “Republicans” won 61 seats in the elections. According to The New York Times, this party— one of the main candidates for partners of the presidential bloc, capable of giving an “active majority”, but in this case, “Together!” concessions will have to be made and Macron will be much more dependent on his centrist allies than during his first term.

What the election results mean for Macron

The change in the balance of power in parliament means that Macron will not be able to carry out the planned reforms, relying only on his supporters: the success of the initiatives will depend on his ability to rally moderate forces outside the alliance. “There is nothing worse than adding disorder in France to disorder throughout the world,” — he said before the second round.

Melenchon has already promised that the second place of his coalition will allow him to block all Macron's initiatives. Moreover, on July 5, the left plans to put forward a vote of no confidence in the head of state in parliament. However, even in alliance with Le Pen, they will not have enough votes to carry it through. The prospect of changing the prime minister also looks unrealistic. After the re-election, Macron appointed Elisabeth Born as head of government, in the parliamentary elections she was re-elected in her constituency. Considering this and the overall result of the party, the second woman prime minister in the history of France is likely to retain her post.

Nevertheless, French newspapers and members of the government describe the election results as a shock to the ruling forces. Finance Minister Bruno Le Mer called them a “democratic shock”. If other parties do not cooperate with the pro-presidential alliance, he said, “it will block our ability to reform and protect the French,” Reuters reports.

“Result” risk for our country in the light of the challenges we face, — Born said. According to her, from Monday, work will begin “on the creation of an active majority” capable of working effectively on legislation.

The economic publication Les Echos compared the election results to an earthquake.

The situation for the president is difficult, but not catastrophic, Sergey Fedorov, a leading researcher at the Department of Social and Political Research at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, commented to RBC, although the loss of an absolute majority in the National Assembly by the presidential coalition will certainly make it difficult to pass presidential initiatives through the lower house. Fedorov is also of the opinion that the most likely allies of Vmeste! Republicans may be able to provide the missing 44 seats for an absolute majority, since “many of them are already close enough to the Macron camp.” However, such an alliance may raise the question of the Republican Party’s own political face, which is already in a “foggy position”, the expert stipulates.

Speaking of the extreme measures that Macron can take, Fedorov notes the president’s right dissolve the Parliament according to Art. 12 of the Constitution. In this case, repeated elections will be scheduled, but there is a risk that the results of the president’s supporters will be even more unsatisfactory: “Perhaps in the future, if it becomes clear that the situation is deadlocked and the work of the parliament in such a composition is impossible, the president will resort to such a decision . But now he is unlikely to go for it.

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France stopped receiving gas from Germany amid a decline in supplies from Russia

France has stopped receiving gas from Germany since June 15. Earlier, Gazprom announced that it was forced to reduce supplies via Nord Stream, as turbines were not returned to it from repair on time and technical malfunctions were identified

Gas supplies to France from Germany stopped for amid a decline in Russian gas exports to the European Union, Reuters reports with reference to the French pipeline operator GRTgaz.

Meanwhile, the operator noted that he sees no problems with gas supplies to France this summer, since the decrease in their volumes from Germany is compensated, among other things, by an increase in imports from Spain. According to GRTgaz, gas storage facilities in France are 56% full, which is 6% higher than usual at this time of the year.

European companies this week faced a reduction in Russian gas supplies. This was announced by French Engie, Austrian OMV, Italian Eni and German Uniper. In particular, the latter reported that she received a quarter less fuel from Russia than provided for in the contract.

The reason was the reduction of “Gazprom” gas supplies via Nord Stream. On June 14, they decreased by 40%. The company cited the situation at the Portovaya compressor station as the reason. in Vyborg. According to the operator, the German company Siemens did not return the gas pumping units from repair in time. In addition, technical malfunctions of the engines were identified, Gazprom reported.

The next day, the operator suspended the operation of another turbine, due to which the pumping was reduced by another third. The turbine was stopped before overhaul due to the end of the overhaul period.

Siemens, in turn, explained that they could not return the turbines for Nord Stream. from repairs due to Canadian sanctions (turbines are produced in this country).

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Businessman Kuzmichev lost the court on the disclosure of his addresses in France

The French regulator considered the disclosure of the addresses of the house and villa of the Russian businessman “proportionate” to the circumstances ” alt=”Businessman Kuzmichev lost the lawsuit on the disclosure of his addresses in France” />

Alexey Kuzmichev

The Supreme Court of France dismissed the claim of the Russian businessman, co-founder of Letter One and Alfa Group; Alexey Kuzmichev, who disputed the publication by the country's authorities of data on the location of his house in Paris and a villa on the Riviera, Bloomberg reported.

In March, Kuzmichev came under EU sanctions, which include an asset freeze and an entry ban. After that, the businessman's property was frozen, and the addresses of his house and villa were made public.

Kuzmichev said that the publication of this information endangered the life of his family, and demanded that the decree issued by the French authorities in April be suspended. This document provided for the publication on the Internet of real estate addresses of businessmen from Russia.

A French court dismissed Kuzmichev's claim, stating that the French privacy regulator recognized such publications as “proportionate”; circumstances. It added that the disclosure of information about the property will avoid its lease or sale under a private agreement between companies in the form of shares.

RBC sent a request to Letter One.

In late February, the European Union imposed sanctions against a number of Russian businessmen, including against the co-owners of Letter One, Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven (they later challenged this decision in court). In mid-March, some other Russian entrepreneurs also came under EU restrictive measures, including the co-founders of Alfa Group; German Khan and Alexey Kuzmichev.

Read on RBC Pro Pro Three Useful Exercises to Help Defeat Shyness Instructions Pro Russian consultants separated from global offices: what does it give them Articles Pro Why import substitution can bring Russia to the top of the cloudiest countries reality: how startups are trying to “flavor” the metaverse Kuzmichev, together with his partners, left the number of beneficiaries of Alfa-Bank. Entrepreneurs also left the board of directors of Letter One.

In the ranking of the richest Russians, according to Forbes, Kuzmichev takes 20th place. The publication estimates his fortune at $6 billion.

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Macron announced the entry of France into the period of the war economy

Macron instructed the French Ministry of Defense to revise the law on military spending /v6_top_pics/media/img/7/07/756551214642077.jpg” alt=”Macron announced France's entry into a period of war economy” />

Emmanuel Macron (center)

France has entered a period of war economy in which the country can no longer live with “year-old spending programming.” This was stated by the French leader Emmanuel Macron at the opening of the international exhibition of the arms industry Eurosatory 2022.

“I asked the Minister [of Defense of France] and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces to re-evaluate the law on military programming in the coming weeks, taking into account the geopolitical context.” ;,— he said.

Macron expressed confidence that France will be able to “organize” in the long term.

The Defense Programming Law aims to establish a multi-year spending program that Paris allocates to the armed forces.

The French President started increasing defense spending back in 2017. According to BFM TV, the budget of the French Ministry of Defense will increase again in 2022 to €40.9 billion in accordance with the plan for 2019–2025.

The French leader stressed that the growth of threats, including the start of a special operation Russia in Ukraine, make Paris “act faster” in this question.

Macron also called for the strengthening of the European defense industry, which should be “much stronger” in light of increased military needs due to the situation in Ukraine. “We need to create a much stronger European defense industry and industrial and technological base,” — he said.

Read on RBC Pro Pro The US market has reached a fair assessment. This is evidenced by the “Rule 20” and can it be prevented? p>Earlier, on June 10, Macron held a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he asked him about the needs for military equipment, political and financial support and humanitarian assistance.

The French leader stressed that Paris remains mobilized for meet the needs of Kyiv, including in heavy weapons.

In mid-May, El Pais, citing documents from the European Commission, wrote that in the defense system of the EU countries “there are as many holes as there are soldier". Thus, in European countries, they revealed a very weak air defense of cities and infrastructure, a shortage of weapons and a lack of capacity for their production. In addition, in the event of a military conflict, Europe faces problems with logistics, and the military does not have encrypted satellite communications with European coverage, the newspaper noted.

The European Commission considered that the events in Ukraine revealed the negative consequences of “low defense spending in peacetime” in European countries.

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Leaders of Germany, France and Italy plan to visit Kyiv in June

Australia to pay France more than $580 million to cancel submarine contract

The contract for the construction of 12 submarines worth $66 billion with Naval Group was canceled at the initiative of Australia after the announcement of the creation of the defense alliance AUKUS. Canberra announced its decision to build a submarine fleet with the US and Britain “Australia will pay France more than $580 million to break the contract for submarines” />

The Australian government will pay the French shipbuilder Naval Group $585.2 million as compensation for breaking the contract for the construction of submarines, concluded by Canberra in 2016 . This was announced by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, reports ABC.

According to the head of government, a final agreement has been reached between the Australian authorities and the French defense company Naval Group on compensation for the unilateral termination of the contract, which Canberra announced in September 2021. “The Australian Government will pay A$830m ($585.2m) in fair settlement of <…> Now we can restore [Australian-French] relations that will no longer be marred by, — Albanese said.

The prime minister also said that French President Emmanuel Macron took an active part in resolving the conflict and, after the decision on compensation, invited the Australian leader to pay an official visit to his country. “I believe that a face-to-face meeting between me and President Macron in France is absolutely necessary to reset this relationship, which is important for the national interests of Australia,” added prime.

Last September, the US, UK and Australia agreed on a new defense and security partnership, AUKUS (short for three countries), designed to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region. As a result, Australia canceled a $66 billion contract concluded with France in 2016 for the construction of 12 submarines. In return, she will receive American nuclear submarines.

France criticized the actions of the allies. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called Australia's decision a “stab in the back” and accused of “faithful trust.” Paris then withdrew its ambassadors from the US and Australia for consultations. Naval Group, after the news of Australia's decision to build nuclear submarines with the help of the UK and the US, announced “serious disappointment”.

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The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commenting on the actions of Australia, reminded France of how she herself in 2015 broke the contract with Russia for the supply of Mistral helicopter carrier ships. “Rupture of contracts for France seems to be a common thing. In 2015, Paris canceled a deal with Russia for two Mistral aircraft carriers. Or are only the knives that you feel in your back bad? — Zakharova asked.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in turn, warned about the intensification of the arms race. Beijing has accused the US and Britain of nuclear proliferation.

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France prepares to supply Ukraine with weapons of mass destruction

The explosion of a shell with shrapnel leaves no chance to survive

Regular shelling by Ukrainian artillerymen and rocket launchers of civilians in Donbass does not seem to have forced Western leaders to refuse to supply weapons to Kyiv. And this is despite the fact that in the same Donetsk, at the site of the shelling of a residential area, fragments of NATO-caliber ammunition – 155 mm – were found. Moreover, information appeared in social networks that France is ready to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) with proximity fuses for the shells of its CAESAR self-propelled artillery mounts. Their use turns the artillery system almost into a weapon of mass destruction.

Photo: Global Look Press

Ukrainian armed forces intensified shelling of residential areas of Donetsk. Civilians were killed, including women and children. According to the DPR security officials, Ukrainian troops shelled the residential areas of Donetsk from the French self-propelled gun CAESAR with a caliber of 155 mm.

Commenting on this information in the tg channel, Israeli political scientist Yakov Kedmi wrote: “When Macron sent weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, did he mean exactly this “assistance to Ukrainian democracy” – strikes against civilians and civilian infrastructure? And if the Elysee Palace was covered with such guns, what would he say?

And now information has appeared that proximity fuses can be supplied for the shells fired by CAESAR self-propelled guns. What it is? This is a special electronic device, a micro-radar, which determines the distance to the ground and at the right time gives a command to detonate a projectile at a certain height. In this case, an explosion directed into the lower hemisphere covers a huge area with small steel balls – the size of a football field, creating a zone of continuous destruction. Neither walls nor trenches save us.

Now let's imagine that frostbitten Ukrainian artillerymen will cover some market or train station in Donetsk with such a projectile. There will be hundreds of victims. Has Macron completely lost his fear and scent? – political scientist Yulia Vityazeva asks a question in the tg-channel. Apparently, the question is rhetorical.

Earlier, the France2 TV channel reported that France had already transferred 18 CAESAR self-propelled guns to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

And the new French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in Kyiv announced France's intention to transfer additional the number of 155-mm/52 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers. “Soon there will be new deliveries of CAESAR self-propelled artillery systems, and we will continue cooperation in this context,” said the head of French paramilitary diplomacy.