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Paris considers ban on e-scooters over safety concerns

“MuiTypography-root-233 MuiTypography-h1-238″>Paris considers ban on e-scooters over safety concerns

The electric scooter revolution in the "City of Lights" may be about to go bust just as it takes off.

The WorldDecember 15, 2022 · 3:45 PM EST

A masked couple ride an electric scooter by the Invalides memorial, in Paris, Oct. 25, 2020.

Lewis Joly/AP/File photo

Paris city officials are weighing a ban on the city’s fleet of 15,000 electric scooter rentals, primarily over safety concerns and complaints that the scooters are clogging up the city’s streets.

“It’s truly an urban jungle,” said David Belliard, the Paris deputy mayor in charge of transport and public spaces.

There have been more than 300 e-scooter related accidents in the last year alone and four deaths all tied to people using the electric ride-sharing services.

While Paris was the first European city to break into the e-scooter rental market in 2018, it has now imposed what operators say are the strictest regulations in the world.

Last month, the three operators authorized in Paris — Tier, Lime and Dott — sent city officials a list of proposed changes they plan on making, including adding license plates so that police can track traffic offenses, and adding ID checks to make sure all users are over the age of 18.

They’re hoping to convince the city to renew their contracts to operate in Paris, which expire next February. But David Belliard said proposals aren’t necessarily enough.

“It’s also about the responsibility of the people using these apps, or rather the irresponsibility of the operators,” Belliard said.

Garence Lefevre, a senior director of public policy at Lime, says popularity for her company’s services has skyrocketed since the pandemic.

According to Lefevre, Lime has an average of 400,000 riders every month in Paris alone.

She also said Lime has put forward additional safety proposals, including ride discounts for people wearing helmets and fines for those who don’t park their bikes in designated parking zones.

“If these measures and all the proposals that we have made to the city are implemented in Paris, it would make Paris the most regulated market,” Lefevre said.

Many Parisians say the city’s concerns are legitimate. 

“It’s very dangerous, there are a lot of accidents,” said Juliette, a 27-year-old Paris resident who added that the city’s tiny streets aren’t equipped to accommodate so many scooters.

“Maybe if we were in Denmark where you have a specific place for bikes it would be better, but in Paris there’s no room for them.”

Others are concerned about the lack of respect e-ride users have for the rules of the road, ignoring stoplights and traffic flow.

But even with all the concerns, their overall popularity continues to skyrocket. 

Lime said one person uses one of their bikes every four seconds in Paris alone. 

The city says it will make a final decision on whether to proceed with a ban within the next few weeks.

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Paris requested discussion of the crisis between Yerevan and Baku in the UN Security Council

Paris requested a discussion of the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the United Nations Security Council on September 14, RIA Novosti reports citing a source.

According to the source, Paris wants to discuss a letter from on the Armenian side, which refers to the “aggression of Azerbaijan”.

On the night of September 13, clashes took place on the border of the two countries with the use of heavy weapons and UAVs. As a result, there are dead and wounded, including among civilians. Baku and Yerevan accuse each other of a large-scale provocation.

Let us recall that with the mediation of Russia, the parties reached an agreement on a ceasefire, which is effective from today from 9:00 Moscow time.

To resolve the aggravated situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, work has been organized to activate the CSTO mechanisms.

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Paris reported that Putin allowed the revision of the conditions for the visit of the IAEA to the Zaporizhzhya NPP

Elysee Palace: Putin announced a possible revision of the requirements for the visit of the IAEA to Zaporozhye NPP Moscow has previously stated that it does not consider it safe for the IAEA mission to travel to the Zaporizhzhya NPP through Kyiv. Zelensky pointed out that during a meeting with the UN Secretary General, he agreed on the parameters of the delegation's itinerary “(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Zaporozhye NPP

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, announced his readiness to review the requirements for a visit to the Zaporizhzhya NPP by a mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including with its admission through the territory of Ukraine, and not Russia , as Moscow wanted earlier, the Elysee Palace reported.

Macron in a conversation insisted that the IAEA arrive at the Zaporizhzhya NPP on conditions agreed by Ukraine.

The Kremlin, reporting on the conversation between the heads of state, said that Putin pointed to the “danger of a large-scale catastrophe” created by “systematic shelling by the Ukrainian military of the territory” stations. He and Macron “noted the importance of sending an IAEA mission to the nuclear power plant as soon as possible, which could assess the real situation on the spot,” Putin stressed that Moscow is ready to assist in organizing the trip.

The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has been under Russian control since February 28. In July—August, the pro-Russian authorities in the region repeatedly stated that the Ukrainian side was attacking the territory of the station— artillery shelling and drone strikes were reported.

On August 11, the UN Security Council held a meeting on the situation at nuclear power plants. At it, the head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, said that so far there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety, but the situation can change at any moment. He considered it necessary to allow the IAEA mission to the station as soon as possible.

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As pointed out in the Russian Foreign Ministry, the route for the agency's specialists to visit the station was agreed upon in early June, but then the “red light” was included by the Security Department of the UN Secretariat. The department also noted that it doubted the safety of the mission's trip through Kyiv, and blamed the “Western community” for the disruption of the visit. and the “Kyiv regime.”

Other parties are accused of obstructing the IAEA's trip to the Russian station. Also, more than 40 countries around the world called on Moscow to return control over the nuclear power plant to Kyiv.

The day before, on August 18, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that during negotiations with UN Secretary General António Guterres, he agreed on the parameters of a possible IAEA mission to ZAES. He also stressed that “Russia must immediately withdraw its troops from the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, stop provocations.”

Authors Tags Persons

Vladimir Putin

Politician, President of Russia

October 7, 1952

Emmanuel Macron

politician, president of France

December 21, 1977

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Macron’s words about the inadmissibility of humiliating Russia were explained in Paris

The French Foreign Ministry told what their president meant

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking about the inadmissibility of humiliating Russia, implied the need to build a future with Russian society after the end of hostilities on the territory of Ukraine . This was stated by Clement Bon, Minister Delegate to the French Foreign Ministry for European Affairs.

Photo: AP

“To, what the president had in mind is that you need to think about the future, about what will be needed later (after the end of the armed conflict – “MK“) to build together with Russian society, to find a way of coexistence, reconciliation “, – he said on the radio station France Inter.

Earlier, Macron said that Russia cannot be “humiliated”, since, according to him, the conflict in Ukraine will end sooner or later, and countries will be able to find a way out ” through diplomacy.”

The French President also said that over the past six months he had spent about a hundred hours of telephone conversations with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, discussing Ukraine with him.

Recently, there was information that macron, as well as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi can visit Kyiv on Wednesday, June 16.

However, the day before, the Elysee Palace said that Macron does not yet have clear plans for a visit to Ukraine.


“The President said that he would visit Ukraine at the right moment. Several options are being worked out, nothing has been decided at this stage,” Paris noted.


Paris allowed the introduction of restrictions on oil from Russia next week

The next package of sanctions, which includes restrictions on Russian oil, may be introduced as early as next week, said the official representative of the French Foreign Ministry. According to her, Paris is participating in its discussion

France expects the introduction of new EU sanctions against Russia, including restrictions on oil in the near future. This was announced by the official representative of the French Foreign Ministry, Anne-Clair Legendre, on the air of BFMTV, Le Progres reports. According to her, the sixth package of sanctions may be adopted as early as next week.

Earlier, the Politico portal wrote, citing sources, that Brussels was going to present the next package of sanctions to the EU countries on Monday, April 25, to be discussed and introduced within a week until April 29.

After the start of the Russian military special operation in Ukraine, Western countries, including the European Union, imposed several rounds of sanctions against Moscow.

European restrictive measures affected the reserves and assets of the Central Bank, several Russian banks, including VTB and Otkritie, the export of technological products, the supply of aircraft and spare parts for them, as well as access to European financial markets. Personal sanctions, which include the freezing of assets and accounts, have affected businessmen, top managers of companies, officials and politicians, including President Vladimir Putin.

The EU introduced the previous, fifth package of sanctions on April 8. The sanctions banned the import and transit of coal from Russia, the export of printing paper, planting material, the supply of certain turbines and engines, and particle accelerators. The restrictions also imply an extended ban on the import of petrochemical equipment, including for LNG projects.

The fact that the European Commission is preparing the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which implies restrictions on the oil sector, was said in mid-April by the head of the EC, Ursula von der Leyen. Also, according to her, the EU is discussing new restrictions against Russia's largest bank— Sberbank.

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Deputy head of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said that the EU countries are considering measures to exclude Sberbank international payment system SWIFT and are trying to minimize the negative impact of new oil sanctions on European countries.

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Clashes between radicals and police broke out in Paris


Unrest broke out in the French capital amid the announcement of the results of the second round of presidential elections and the victory of the incumbent head of state Emmanuel Macron.

We note that after processing 80% of the ballots, Macron confidently outperforms his rival, the leader of the far-right National Rally party. Marine Le Pen, 54.81% of the voters cast their votes for him, 45.19% for Le Pen. However, Le Pen's supporters do not agree with the results of the elections.

“Clashes between the radicals and the police began in Paris. Law enforcement officers were forced to use tear gas,” eyewitnesses from the scene report.


Paris with a swastika. How the French fought for the triumph of Nazism in Europe

Plot World History with Andrey Sidorchik

For eight years from 2014 to 2022, European countries did not make real efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis in Ukraine within the framework of the Minsk agreements. But now an incredible amount of teachings and threats against Russia is flying.

“Did they defeat us too?”

In particular, the Europeans decided to teach the Russians the correct understanding of the terms “Nazism”; and “genocide”. «This war is not a fight against Nazism, it is a lie», — French President Emmanuel Macron announced in one of his speeches.

Legend has it that the representatives of the Wehrmacht, who arrived at the ceremony of signing the unconditional surrender, were surprised to see the French. “Did these guys also defeat us?” — the losers asked rudely.

Regrettably for the French, there was a lot of truth in this surprise. On May 15, 1940, French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud telephoned Winston Churchill in London, declaring: “We have been defeated… They are rushing into the gap with tanks and armored vehicles.” Churchill tried to calm Reynaud, but he kept repeating like a clockwork: “No, we are beaten, we lost the battle.” 

On June 22, 1940, the Compiegne Armistice was signed, according to which 60 percent of the country's territory, including Paris and the entire Atlantic coast, became the occupation zone of Germany. The French army was to disarm and hand over heavy weapons to the German troops. It was envisaged to maintain minimal formations to maintain order, the number of which was to be determined by Germany and Italy. The French navy was to be demobilized and placed in ports under the supervision of the occupying forces. France was also entrusted with the obligation to maintain German troops on its territory. France handed over to the Reich all German prisoners of war, while French soldiers had to remain in POW camps until the end of hostilities in Western Europe. In addition, France was obliged to extradite to the Reich the citizens of Germany who were on its territory, who were indicated by the German command.

“Legion of French volunteers against Bolshevism”

The so-called Vichy France has become a real satellite of the Third Reich. In the Soviet years in our country they preferred to talk about the Normandie squadron — Neman» and the resistance movement, without specifying that the number of those French who supported Hitler in the period from 1940 to 1944 was dozens of times greater than the number of those who fought Nazism.

According to the NKVD of the USSR, a total of 23,136 French were in Soviet captivity. We are talking about those who directly participated in the battles against the Red Army.

There is no question of any bondage. Immediately after the German attack on the USSR, on the initiative of a number of French political parties and with the approval of the authorities of the Third Reich, the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism was formed. As part of the Wehrmacht, it was called the 638th Infantry Regiment, but, curiously, its fighters fought … under the banner of France.

Another noteworthy fact for “French pride” — The 638th Infantry Regiment was the only foreign unit in the Wehrmacht that advanced on Moscow in 1941.

morale, but the level of their combat training is low. The sergeants, in general, are not bad, but they do not show activity, since the senior staff does not show efficiency. The officers are not capable of much and were clearly recruited on a purely political basis.

Due to heavy losses, the “Legion against Bolshevism” taken to the rear for retraining and reorganization.

Punishers and SS men: the dark pages of the “Gallic roosters”

Can you fall even lower? Can. After retraining and replenishment in 1942, the French battalions were placed at the disposal of the Wehrmacht security divisions on the territory of the Byelorussian SSR. Modern Parisian historians write that the formations were used for “anti-partisan actions”, but it would be more correct to call it otherwise — French soldiers played the role of punishers.

Belarusian partisans, however, did not breed politeness, sending immigrants from French lands to the other world as diligently as all other Nazis and their accomplices.

In the summer of 1944, the Legion Against Bolshevism, completely worn out by losses, poured into the new division — 7th SS Grenadier Brigade Charlemagne.

In general, the French were recruited into the SS on an individual basis from 1942, and from 1943 recruitment points in France operated under the auspices of the government in Vichy. In August 1943, a French SS regiment was created, and in the fall of 1944, a whole brigade of French SS men was recruited. In February 1945, Charlemagne was reorganized into an SS division.

And here again the historical parallels: according to the documents, for the first time the French SS battalion collided with the Red Army during the fighting … near Lvov. Here the Nazis noted the special zeal and combat effectiveness of the French, but it cost them very dearly — in a month of fighting in the summer of 1944, the French SS battalion lost up to 90 percent of its personnel killed and wounded. did not let up.

The Iron Cross and the absence of regret: the career of the French Hauptsturmführer Fehne

Historical fact — in the last days of the defense of Berlin in the Reichstag area, a combined hodgepodge of Finnish, Danish, Norwegian and French SS men fiercely defended, and collaborators showed much more zeal than the Germans themselves.

April 29, 1945, French Hauptsturmführer Henri Joseph Fene received the Iron Cross for valor in the battles for Berlin.

Fene was taken alive, and this is how he recalled it: “We were herded to the damaged Brandenburg Gate, where we stood and looked with a heavy heart at the parade of winners — hundreds and hundreds of tanks adorned with red flags. We were crushed. It was a complete disaster. We were erased, thrown into the abyss of insignificance and impenetrable darkness … When the Russians moved the camp to the east, they decided not to take me with them, and I returned to France. “You will suffer a punishment worthy of traitors!“ Such a poster met me at the border».

Kara, however, turned out to be a kind of — Fene, sentenced to 22 years in prison, was released after three and a half years. Moreover, he claimed that they met him as a hero: “On the day of my release, the entire administration of the prison gathered, and they offered me champagne. The town priest arrived in his little “Citroen” and waited for me at the gate. They were all sincerely glad to see me free.

In France, they “understood and forgave” me. earlier than in Ukraine

Fenet lived until 2002, regularly held meetings with French colleagues at Charlemagne, at which the SS men proudly posed with the Iron Crosses received from the Third Reich. The Hauptsturmführer willingly gave interviews to the media, in which he stated that he did not regret anything, and he was not ashamed of anything at all.

The truth is that the justification and rehabilitation of French collaborators, including the SS, began much earlier than in Ukraine. But it was furnished with the elegance inherent in the French, and it’s not so noticeable to us from the outside.


The mayor of Paris signed an agreement on friendship between the cities in Kyiv


Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo arrived in Ukraine and signed a friendship agreement between the cities with Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko. Klitschko announced this in his telegram channel.

“With my colleague, we signed an agreement on establishing friendly relations between our cities – Kiev and Paris,” he said.

He also thanked the mayor's office of Paris for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in France.

Klitschko said that Kyiv is seeking to develop economic relations and common projects with Paris.


Paris revealed the details of the conversation between Putin and Macron

The press service of the Elysee Palace issued a statement in which details of the telephone conversations between Russian and French Presidents Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron were made public.

Photo: Natalia Gubernatorova

The document emphasizes that the French leader, in a conversation with his Russian counterpart, stressed the idea that there is no other solution to the Ukrainian crisis, except for a ceasefire.

“During the conversation, President Macron emphasized that there is no other solution than a ceasefire,” the Elysee Palace said.

It is specified that the conversation between the heads of Russia and France lasted about an hour.

Earlier, the Kremlin reported that the dialogue between Putin and Macron took place at the initiative of the French side.


Paris announces arms supplies to Kiev after Macron’s talk with Lukashenka

The French authorities announced their intention to supply additional weapons to Ukraine The authorities also promise to tighten sanctions against Russia. The conversation between Lukashenko and Macron took place on Saturday, during which the President of Belarus expressed his readiness to accept peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in the republic

France will supply Ukraine with additional military equipment and tighten sanctions against Russia, the Elysee Palace said, AFP reports.

This was announced after a telephone conversation between the Presidents of France and Belarus Emmanuel Macron and Alexander Lukashenko.

The conversation lasted more than an hour, the Belarusian side reported about it. The President of the Republic expressed his readiness to host peace talks between Russia and Ukraine on its territory “at any time, in any place,” the BelTA state agency wrote. Macron's office did not report on the talks.

On Saturday, Germany announced its intention to send 1,000 anti-tank missiles and 500 Stingers to Ukraine. Prior to this, the German authorities opposed the supply of weapons to Kiev.

From February 24, a Russian military operation has been underway in Ukraine with the aim of “demilitarization and denazification” country. The Russian Defense Ministry emphasizes that they deliver pinpoint strikes only on military infrastructure facilities. The Russian authorities say that there is no talk of the occupation of Ukraine.

In Kyiv, Moscow's actions were considered the outbreak of war, President Vladimir Zelensky announced the severance of diplomatic relations. Martial law is in force in Ukraine.

The military operation was harshly condemned by Western countries. The United States, Great Britain and the European Union, after the start of the military operation, announced sanctions against various sectors of the Russian economy. The EU has imposed personal sanctions against President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev and other officials. Following Brussels, London announced restrictions on Putin and Lavrov.


Paris announced preparations for a summit “to determine the order of peace” in Europe

France allowed the convening of a summit meeting to determine the “order of peace” in Europe The Elysee Palace announced a meeting of representatives of France, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE. This, according to him, should allow in the future to convene a summit meeting to determine a “new peace and security in Europe”

Champs Elysees (Paris, France)

France announces plans to host summit to define a “new order of peace and security in Europe”. This is stated in the release of the Elysee Palace following the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron.

They said that in order to achieve a diplomatic solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine in the coming days, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will meet with his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov. In addition, it is planned to convene a meeting of the trilateral contact group, which includes representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE, as soon as possible.

“This diplomatic work should allow moving forward with the involvement of all interested parties (Europeans, allies, Russians and Ukrainians) in order, subject to conditions, to hold a summit meeting and determine a new order of peace and security in Europe,” ; the message says.

The conversation between Putin and Macron took place on Sunday. According to the Kremlin, the Russian president expressed serious concern about the escalation in the Donbass, but said that it was provoked by the military of Kiev-controlled forces.

He also noted that Ukraine was only “imitating” negotiations on a peaceful settlement of the conflict, while refusing to implement the Minsk agreements and agreements reached in the Normandy format.

After Putin, Macron also spoke with Ukrainian President Zelensky. The latter then stated that Kiev is in favor of intensifying the peace process, the immediate introduction of a regime of silence and the convening of a trilateral contact group as soon as possible.

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Paris announced a telephone conversation between Macron and Putin

Elysee Palace: Macron will talk on the phone with Zelensky, and then with Putin “aligncenter” src=”” alt=”Paris announced a telephone conversation between Macron and Putin” />

Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin

French President Emmanuel Macron intends on Sunday, February 20, to have a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. This was reported in the Elysee Palace, radio station RFI reports.

The day before, on February 19, Macron intends to talk with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.

«Our task— avoid the worst case scenario. We believe that it is still possible to convince President Putin not to attack Ukraine, — said the Macron administration. Russia has repeatedly said that it has no such plans.

On the eve of the French Foreign Ministry published a joint statement by the head of department Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German colleague Annalena Burbock. The ministers said they took note of the statements made by the leaders of the unrecognized DPR and LPR about the evacuation of residents of the region to Russia, allegedly as a precautionary measure in anticipation of a possible attack from Ukraine.

“We see no basis for these accusations and call on Russia to use its influence on the self-proclaimed republics, calling for restraint,” — LeDrian said and the Burbocks added that they were afraid of “fabricated incidents” that could be used as a pretext for military escalation.

Kyiv has repeatedly denied the preparation of a military offensive in the Donbass. On February 19, on behalf of Zelensky, NSDC Secretary Oleksiy Danilov, Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk, as well as deputies of the Verkhovna Rada will go to the front line. The President himself intends to participate in the Munich Security Conference on this day.

Macron and Putin have spoken on the phone several times since the beginning of the year, the last conversation took place on February 12. A few days later, the State Duma decided to send Putin an appeal to recognize the DNR and LNR. The French leader appealed to his Russian counterpart not to do this, he was supported by Germany, Ireland, Estonia, Albania and Norway. They stressed that the recognition of the republics would be a violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine, as well as a step against the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Putin said earlier that Russia should do everything to solve the problem of Donbass, but it will proceed “first of all from the possibilities of implementing the Minsk agreements.”

February 7, Putin held talks with Macron in Moscow. At them, according to a Reuters source, the Russian president recalled claims to Western countries since the Cold War and accused them of “betrayal”; and breaking the promise not to expand NATO. Macron, after the meeting, allowed the adoption of innovative solutions to resolve the crisis.

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Paris will regard Russia’s recognition of the LDNR as an “offensive without weapons”

According to French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian, the plans of the Russian authorities to recognize the independence of the self-proclaimed republics of the LPR and DPR can be considered an offensive without weapons that destroy the territorial integrity of Ukraine. At the same time, Paris points out that the priority now is to stop the escalation of the conflict.

Speaking at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly, Le Drian said: “Such recognition by Russia (recognition of the LDNR – ed. ) is an unacceptable situation for us, an attack without weapons and the destruction of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Earlier, State Duma deputies asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the LPR and DPR in order to protect the Russian-speaking population. After that, French President Emmanuel Macron turned to the Russian leader, asking him not to do this.

Read the material: “Putin gave Scholz a signal: there will be no recognition of the DPR and LPR”


“I was freezing for 9 hours.” Famed photographer René Robert dies of cold in Paris

A middle-aged man lies helplessly on the cold ground, and passers-by hurry about their business, and only a few of them catch a glimpse of the prostrate figure. Help came too late — another life was taken by human indifference.

“Unable to get up, he lay in the cold for 9 hours”

Such stories that took place in different cities of Russia have been written more than once . But today we are talking about the French capital. In Paris, the life of the famous photographer Rene Robert was tragically cut short.

The death of the 85-year-old master was told by his friend, journalist and musician Michel Momponte. According to him, on January 18, Robert went out for an evening walk, but on the Rue Turbigot he became ill, and he fell, hitting his head on the sidewalk.

“Unable to get up, he lay in the cold for 9 hours like a tramp, — wrote Momponte on Twitter, — for 9 hours not a passer-by stopped to see why this gentleman was lying on the pavement. Nobody».

A friend of the deceased complained that Robert did not receive help, being in one of the busiest and most crowded quarters of Paris.

The only one who turned out to care about Robert was a Parisian homeless man who, already in the morning, stumbled upon a lying man and called the doctors. The ambulance arrived at 5:30 am local time. The photographer was diagnosed with a head injury and severe hypothermia. The victim was taken to the hospital, but nine hours spent in the cold turned out to be fatal — Robert passed away.

The man who sang the flamenco

René Robert was born on March 4, 1936 in Friborg, Switzerland. He has been interested in photography since the age of 12. After school, he studied photography in Lausanne, after which he began to work in his specialty in Geneva.

In the mid-sixties, he moved to Paris. Acquaintance with a Swedish dancer who came to France to study flamenco was fateful for Robert. The photographer created a whole gallery of portraits of flamenco dancers. Robert was a recognized master of photography of flamenco dance, its performers and guitarists.

The photographer captured many iconic figures in the world of flamenco — Paco de Lucia, Enrique Morente, Israel Galvan, Andres Marin, Rocio Molina and others.

Robert's work has been presented at numerous exhibitions, including in Paris, Nimes, Luxembourg, Rome and other cities.

“The art of flamenco emerges from the background of being an artist. Whether he expresses himself through singing, the basis of this art, guitar or dance, he brings us, in turn, moments of joy, grace, pain or rage, as well as elegance, sensuality … I want to pay tribute to all these artists, women and men who live flamenco, revealing moments that will not be repeated, but that can be preserved in the hearts of those who love them, — said Robert in 2019, presenting his photographs at the next exhibition.

“I'm not 100 percent sure that I would have stopped that evening, passing by”

It is unlikely that a photographer who devoted his skill to the aerial art of dance could imagine how cruel and terrible the end of his own life would be.

“If this painful death can serve a noble purpose, then so be it, — posted by Momponte. — When a person is lying on the sidewalk, let's check his condition. You can stop for a while and spend time».

At the same time, a friend of Robert admitted: “To this horror is added a sense of his own guilt. I'm not 100 percent sure I would have stopped myself that evening passing by. And this doubt terrifies me.

In the comments, Parisians and residents of other French cities began to actively discuss the situation. As it turned out, the problem of helping a person who suddenly fell to the ground is extremely acute.

“In December 2018, I became ill 50 meters from my own house, — confessed one of the inhabitants of Paris. — Nobody rushed to help. I managed to call an ambulance myself, sitting on the ground. He was brought to the hospital with hypothermia. Nine hours in the emergency room with oxygen, and then another 15 days in the hospital.


Another resident of the French capital recalled a story that happened to his relative: “My brother fell in the street, breaking his ankle. People passed by, and some even cursed when he asked for help. In the end, he literally crawled to a street phone, called an ambulance, and he was rescued.

Commenting on what happened to Robert, one of the users noted: who lies on the street, he would not be helped. But we are already used to the fact that there are those for whom an asphalt bed in the cold — fine. This is called life.

However, not everyone believes that the situation is hopeless. Here is what a Parisian under the nickname “Green Cat” writes: “This is terrible. But don't generalize. I always stop when I see people lying on the ground. And when I myself felt sick twice, people came up to me and asked if I was all right.

Momponte bitterly stated — the only one who turned out to care about Robert, who devoted his life to art and spirituality, was a Parisian homeless man who was clearly not fond of flamenco and had never seen his exhibitions.

But he turned out to be more humane than most of the quite prosperous inhabitants of the huge metropolis.


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A$AP Twelvyy – Last Train 2 Paris lyrics

Faith in the “Family”. A religious community of 3 thousand relatives was found in Paris

French journalists found a cell of amazing stability in Paris, which neither destructive changes of power, nor terrible world wars could shake. We are talking about a large religious community called The Family, whose members have been married only to each other for two hundred years. Many of these relatives now live on the same streets and in the same houses as their 19th century ancestors. And they also firmly believe in the terrible fate of all “ sinners '' who do not share their convictions. To the one who breaks the rules of the “ Family '' and for this he will be exiled, even ordinary life may seem like hell.

Solid cousins ​​

The large community “ Family '', whose members have managed to live almost unnoticed by society in the heart of France for almost two centuries, was founded by the followers of Jansenism. Adepts of this religious movement XVII & mdash; XVIII centuries, which arose among ordinary Catholics, became fixated on the idea of ​​human corruption by original sin and the inevitable apocalypse. In order not to lose your “ holy '' conviction, in 1819, eight pairs of Parisian Jansenists united and began to live like one big family. But unlike ordinary religious fanatics seeking to “ recruit '' as many like-minded people as possible, representatives of the Thibault, Khavets, Sandoz, Firth, Pulin, Maitre, Deshelet and Sangle clans, on the contrary, decided to close themselves off from the whole world in a way available to them.

Members of the community agreed to marry only among themselves under the threat of expulsion in case of violation of this rule. Another interesting feature of the French religious community was that it originated and developed separately in the very center of Paris. From the very beginning, its members settled closer to Montreuil Street in the east of the capital, where they eventually created their own little world. But no matter how they strive to stew in their own juice, it is simply impossible to completely protect oneself from strangers in a big city. And it was thanks to the look from the outside that the community got its name. The people around her began to call her “ Family '', because they constantly heard that everyone in her addressed each other in a related way: “ cousin '', “ cousin '', “ aunt '', “ uncle '' and so on.

No doctors or lawyers

An overabundance of close relatives on a small piece of Parisian land eventually led to the “ Family '' on the “ scaffold '' press, although she did not at all seek to declare herself to the world. According to Paris Match magazine, the community fell under the gun of the media after it was accidentally discovered by science journalist Suzanne Privat … In the summer of 2019, she looked at school photos of her children and was surprised to note that there were too many students in the class with the same surnames. Her son and daughter immediately smiled and said that all these guys & mdash; cousins. The school has long been accustomed to these students and their weird big families, in which everyone wears old-fashioned clothes. But Suzanne Privat was amazed at this discovery and began to collect information about these people.

It turned out that now the “ Family '' consists of approximately three thousand members. Their life is subject to strict rules, reminiscent of the customs of other archaic religious communities. These people marry at a young age and, as a rule, forever. Divorces they have & mdash; an exceptional case. Contraception is generally prohibited, so all families are very large. Children are raised by women who most often do not work. They are provided by their husbands, who mainly choose working specialties. Under strict taboo are 'sinful' professions of a lawyer and a doctor. In the community, only the law of God is recognized and only he is considered the master of the human body. It is also noteworthy that the members of the Family do not favor clergy. They do not recognize any shepherds or temples at all and conduct religious rituals in their close circle. They also have their own holidays and prayers.

Although children from the community learn in regular schools, the distance between them and other students is great. Young members of the “ Family '' do not go to extended hours and extra classes, do not go on excursions. They also do not make friends with peers outside of their ranks, since this is not encouraged. And, for example, permission from parents to visit the library not with a member of the “ Family '' & mdash; already a great indulgence

In the “ Family '' not without a rogue

The ordinary life of the members of the “ Family '' no less bizarre. With computers and telephones, many of them may not communicate with people from the outside world for years. Women and children especially avoid outsiders. Community representatives do not watch the news, do not go to elections and are not even interested in sports. Although there are violators among them too. Most often from the “ Family '' expelled for marriages with strangers. Apostates lose the right to any help and cannot even communicate with their relatives. The life of the community is mainly known from the stories of just such outcasts. They noted that it was very difficult for them to experience the break with the world in which they grew up since childhood. The journalist Nicolas Jacquard considers harshness towards violators to be the worst thing in the “ Family ''. But they do not want to change anything in her, even taking into account the frequent genetic diseases due to incest. By the way, marriages between distant relatives in France are not prohibited.

The authorities have long known about the “ Family '', but find no reason to interfere in its life. It does not fit their definition of a sect with which one could not stand on ceremony. The community does not have a leader and does not involve new members. The people expelled from it insist that their “ relatives '' impose their way of life on children and it is difficult to break with it. But this is also the case in ordinary families. And the belief by some that the life of a religious community will be changed by the disclosure of information about it looks shaky. The same Nicolas Jacquard rightly remarked that in two hundred years the “ Family '' saw five French republics, two world wars and is still alive. Perhaps this can only be explained by her unity and care of members for each other. & Nbsp;

“When you are in the Family, you do not need to worry about tomorrow, which today seems incredible,” & mdash; a former community member told reporters. & mdash; Everyone is worried about how to keep their job and fill the refrigerator, especially during the COVID crisis. And in & bdquo; Family & ldquo; there are no such questions & raquo ;.


The return of la terrasse in Paris — and a sense of normalcy

The return of la terrasse in Paris — and a sense of normalcy

After six months of forced closure, restaurants, cafes and bars in Paris can open for outdoor dining at 50% capacity. 

Rebecca Rosman

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Restaurant workers clean the awning of a restaurant near Chateau de Vincennes, outside Paris, Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The outdoor terraces of France’s cafes and restaurants will be allowed to reopen on May 19 along with museums, cinemas, theaters and concert halls under certain conditions. 


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After three lockdowns, France is beginning to open up again.

From Wednesday, cinemas, museums and theaters can welcome customers at partial capacity — news that has delighted locals and tourists alike.

But for those living in Paris, there’s one main attraction on their sites — the return of la terrasse.

Katrine Maute, third from left, with her colleagues at Cafe des Anges in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. A hot spot for young locals, the cafe is eager to welcome back customers to its outdoor terrace. 


Rebecca Rosman/The World 

After six months of forced closure, restaurants, cafes and bars can open for outdoor dining at 50% capacity.

“We’ve been doing a lot of cleaning the last few days.” 

Katrine Maute, Cafe des Anges 

“We’ve been doing a lot of cleaning the last few days,” said Katrine Maute, the manager of Café des Anges in the 11th arrondissement.

Related: England indoor dining resumes, but where are all the staff?

Next to Maute, workers line up a series of tables along the outdoor terrace and begin sanding them. After all, the tables have been locked inside for more than half a year.

During the summer months, the long terrace is filled with young customers sipping on happy hour spritz drinks and snacking on homemade crisps.

The outdoor terrace isn’t a strictly Parisian phenomenon. But it carries a special weight in a city as dense as the French capital.

Related: France’s top elite school closes in quest for diversity

“[The terrace] is like an extension of the home,” said Lindsey Tramuta, a Paris-based journalist and author of “The New Paris” and “The New Parisienne.” 

“If you think back to as recently when Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre were convening in cafés, they were doing it because it was a sort of bridge between the public and private space that has carried over generations.”

Given the relatively modest size of most Parisian apartments, the cafés have always been a welcome escape.

“Even during wartime, the cafés weren’t closed for this long.” 

Lindsey Tramuta, journalist and author 

“Even during wartime, the cafés weren’t closed for this long,” Tramuta said.

Indeed, the last six months is the longest stretch in modern French history the cafés have been kept shut.

While owners are eager to reopen, there are also new challenges.

According to one recent study, more than 110,000 people in France have quit the hospitality industry in the last year. Long hours, low pay and the instability exacerbated by COVID-19 are all contributing factors.

Another test of long-term survival will be the summer tourist season.

The famous Parisian wicker chairs make their comeback in preparation for Wednesday’s reopening.


Rebecca Rosman/The World 

The European Commission says it will allow Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to visit starting in June, but it’s still too early to predict what those numbers will look like.

Still, café owners don’t expect to have any trouble attracting locals. Reservations made through the popular booking website The Fork have reached record numbers, with many restaurants fully booked.

Related: As Europe plans to reopen, travelers must read the fine print

“We have all been waiting,” said Arthur Marzouk, a consultant eating a takeaway falafel in the Place des Vosges.

The 27-year-old says he’s sick of takeaway and ready to sit down for a proper meal. His first meal: a lunch with family at his favorite steak brasserie near the Arc de Triomphe.

Even with thunderstorms expected on Wednesday, Marzouk is eager to get a coveted outdoor table.

After all, he said, “the terraces are the soul of the city. We need them back ASAP to feel some sense of normalcy.”

France announces new virus restrictions in Paris region

France announces new virus restrictions in Paris region

French President Emmanuel Macron, French Health Minister Olivier Veran (R) and Chief of Intensive Care Unit Dr. Jan Hayon listen to staff working in the intensive care ward of the Poissy/Saint-Germain-en-Laye hospital, near Paris, March 17, 2021.


Yoan Valat/Pool via AP


The French government order new lockdown measures for Paris and several other regions — backed off from more harsh restriction —  despite an increasingly alarming situation at hospitals with a rise in the numbers of COVID-19 patients. Instead, officials announced a patchwork of new restrictions while reducing the national curfew by one hour.

Getting large doses of fresh air is being encouraged, meaning that people living in the Paris region and in the north of the country can walk as long as they like in a day, but within a 10-kilometer (6-mile) radius of their homes and with a paper authorizing the stroll.

Stores, however, will feel the pinch with all non-essential outlets — but not bookshops — closing down. And travel between regions is forbidden without a compelling reason.

Nothing will change at schools, which are to remain open, but sports activities will now be allowed.

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the new rules, which will take effect as of midnight Friday and last for at least four weeks. He referred to “massive new measures” to “slow down (the virus) without locking down people.”

“I also know the deep wish of many of you to enjoy the outdoors, since the crisis has gone on for one year and Spring is coming,” Castex said.

He also announced that the French would be able to get inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine starting Friday afternoon — and that he himself will be getting a shot “to show we can have complete confidence.” Castex is making for himself an exception to the age rule, moving to the front of the line of those awaiting vaccinations, currently reserved for people 75 and older or with serious health concerns.

France and some other countries briefly suspended use of the vaccine over fears of blood clots, and are resuming it after the European Medicines Agency gave its green light earlier Thursday.

Castex said France faces a third wave of the pandemic, with three-quarters of new cases from the more contagious variant that originated in Britain, and more patients who are younger and in better health.

“The situation is deteriorating,” he said.

The Paris region has an infection rate of 446 out of 100,000 inhabitants — up more than 23% in a week — Castex said, and intensive care units are close to saturation. Northern France has an incidence rate of 381 in 100,000. France’s nationwide infection rate is about 250 per 100,000.

But the prime minister insisted that France was sticking to its “third way” of dealing with the virus: “Pragmatic, proportional and regional,” targeting problematic areas.

The Nice area and, in the north, the Pas de Calais and Dunkirk region, have been in full weekend lockdowns. The north, the Paris region and several others are now being targeted, but with a mix of carrot and stick measures.

People all over France have been under a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. nationwide curfew for two months. The curfew will now begin an hour later.

In addition, restaurants, bars, cinemas, gyms, museums, theaters and concert halls have been shut down for almost five months, and will remain closed.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s government had hoped the measures already in place would spare the country of 67 million from the economic, social and psychological impact of another lockdown.

Yet confirmed infections and demand for ICU beds have both risen steadily in recent weeks. The UK virus variant accounts for most infections, and around 250 people are dying each day from the virus.

“We see people dying, we see people suffering. …There’s a difficult situation … and we don’t feel an appropriate response,” Enrique Casalino, head of the emergency service at Bichat hospital à Paris, told French broadcaster LCI.

Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal had warned Wednesday that the new measures to be announced Thursday could include lockdowns in the Paris region, which is home to 12 million people, and in Hauts-de-France, the region bordering Belgium in northern France.

“A localized strategy remains a good strategy. It enables (us) to limit precisely and proportionally the spread of the virus,” he said.

By Elaine Ganley/AP

Biden brings US back to Paris climate accord. Now what?

Biden brings US back to Paris climate accord. Now what?

The US can’t simply reengage global climate action using the old Obama administration playbook, says Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International.

Adam Wernick

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President Joe Biden speaks during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.


Carolyn Kaster/AP


On his first day in office, President Biden recommitted the United States to the Paris climate accord. 

But the US can’t simply reengage using the old Obama administration playbook, says Jennifer Morgan, former climate adviser to the German government and the executive director of Greenpeace International.

The first thing the US needs to work on is a domestic plan for reducing the emissions that cause climate change, combined with creating new jobs in the renewable energy sector, Morgan says. That means passing a COVID-19 recovery package that includes policies to get the US moving toward zero carbon emissions and laying the groundwork for the infrastructure required to do so.

RelatedParis agreement gets ‘new lease on life’ under Biden, climate advocates say

It also means “stepping up and supporting the most vulnerable countries in the world that are suffering already from the impacts [of climate change] — through aid, through capacity-building, through technology transfer and really putting science at the middle of all of it,” Morgan says.

Technically, the US has been out of the Paris climate agreement only since November, but in reality, former President Donald Trump pretty much sat on his hands for the past four years. So the US has missed out on quite a few opportunities to address the crisis, Morgan adds.

Other countries have moved forward to solve problems together, she says, adapting to the impacts of climate change and figuring out how to do that in a way that takes care of the most vulnerable communities in their countries.

The US has also missed out on parts of the renewable energy boom, Morgan says. Other countries are working toward energy independence and in some of these places, renewables are now competing with or beating out fossil fuels.

RelatedGlobal demand for carbon offsets to combat emissions is growing — but the supply is unreliable

Under Trump, the US also missed out on a sense of collaboration. The Trump administration was not only unwilling to go along, they were actively opposing actions to address climate change, Morgan says. So, other countries now have a sense of solidarity that excludes the US.

“I think that the [new] administration now needs to reenter that whole area with some humility because others had to move forward,” Morgan says.

The US also has to play catch up in its commitments to the Green Climate Fund, which was created to support poor and developing countries and help both “in dealing with the impacts and adapting to climate change and [with] moving forward and implementing solutions,” Morgan says. “You had a whole effort that was underway in the research field, not only to fund research but also to allow scientists to do their job and not stop them from doing their job.”

This year, a major set of climate talks will take place in Glasgow, Scotland. Morgan believes this is the moment, now that the US is back on board, for world leaders “to demonstrate that they’re about the well-being of people and the planet over short-term economic growth. And I think they have a tremendous chance, Biden and Harris, to bring their environmental justice and racial justice agenda [from] the domestic level into the international agenda.”

Morgan says the world breathed “a collective sigh of massive relief” that the US has moved from having a climate denier in the  White House to an administration which says that climate is one of its four biggest priorities.

“I think…countries are curious about how the US is going to reengage [in the Paris climate agreement]. … [T]he US can learn a lot from other countries right now and what they’ve been through.”

Jennifer Morgan, executive director, Greenpeace International

“I think…countries are curious about how the US is going to reengage in this,” Morgan says. “They will look for that credibility on domestic action and transforming the US economy. And I think they would say to this administration, the world is different than it was four years ago and they’re ready for partnership with the US, [while] also noting that the US can learn a lot from other countries right now and what they’ve been through.”

Optimally, the new administration needs to be driving the world away from fossil fuels in every single way that it can, as quickly as it can, while “providing a just transition for workers that are currently in that sphere, ramping up their work on other solutions, working with communities to do thatand doing that together in a unifying way,” Morgan says.

“I think there’s no choice now, the science is so clear,” she adds. “We have so little time.”

This article is based on an interview by Steve Curwood that aired on Living on Earth from PRX.

A Paris neighborhood honors 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who died after COVID-19 bout

A Paris neighborhood honors 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who died after COVID-19 bout

Rebecca Rosman

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James Smurthwaite stands next to the obituary sign he made to honor his late neighbor Eugene Deutsch. 


Rebecca Rosman/The World 


Le Chateau Landon is a quiet, nondescript brasserie in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, steps away from the Gare de l’Est railway terminal.

Not much about the black and red interior stands out. But the café has kept a steady clientele of regulars for decades — many of whom are older people.

In April, it lost one of its favorite regulars: A 92-year-old man named Eugene Deutsch who had survived the Holocaust, then a bout with COVID-19.  

Related: Coronavirus tears through Canada nursing homes

Deutsch was a neighborhood figure known for making the daily rounds at the local cafés and bakeries. He would have his morning coffee at Le Chateau Landon, followed by an afternoon Côtes du Rhône wine at the neighboring Le Cristal. In between, he would buy himself a fresh baguette — always bien cuite, or “well done.”

But when France went into lockdown in mid-March, this routine was upended. Deutsch’s health quickly deteriorated.

Philippe, the café’s owner, says that once the lockdown took effect, Deutsch “lost his taste for life.” It’s something he’s seen happen to many older people in the neighborhood. 

“[Older people] aren’t necessarily dying of COVID-19, but in a way, they’re dying because of it.”

Philippe, owner, Le Chateau Landon

“They aren’t necessarily dying of COVID-19, but in a way, they’re dying because of it,” he said.

Related: Isolation may be a greater risk than COVID-19 for Canada’s nursing homes

Deutsch was hospitalized shortly after the lockdown took effect. Neighbors say that he was diagnosed with COVID-19, but recovered and went home. He died a few weeks later from an unrelated health issue. 

He had lived in the same building for more than six decades. James Smurthwaite was one of Deutsch’s neighbors. 

“Imagine spending years spending 62 years somewhere and when you leave, it’s met with complete silence.”

James Smurthwaite, neighbor of the late Eugene Deutsch

“Imagine spending years spending 62 years somewhere, and when you leave it’s met with complete silence,” Smurthwaite says.

Related: Netherlands nursing home builds ‘glass cabin’ for safe visits

While they rarely exchanged more than simple pleasantries, Smurthwaite says he was deeply touched by Deutsch and wanted to do something to honor his memory. In late April, he attached an obituary to a tree in front of their building.

Deutsch was generally reserved and didn’t talk much about his personal life. But here’s what Smurthwaite was able to share.

Eugene Deutsch was born in Hungary in 1928. When he was a boy, he was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, something he never spoke about after the war. In the 1950s he settled in Paris, where he worked as a security guard at a department store. Deutsch never married or had children, but he enjoyed being around others. 

Smurthwaite says that above all, Deutsch loved being outside and used to walk for miles every day.  

Smurthwaite hopes those reading the dedication he posted will spare a thought for the many older people now stuck inside, and who, like Deutsch, may never see a world post-COVID-19.

“With COVID[-19], this generation will know only their last days in this context and I think that’s devastating.” 

James Smurthwaite, neighbor of the late Eugene Deutsch

“With COVID[-19], this generation will know only their last days in this context, and I think that’s devastating,” Smurthwaite says.

Back at the café, the owner Philippe, who only goes by his first name, grabs a teeny tiny wine glass he keeps on a shelf behind the bar. It’s so small, they don’t actually make this kind of glass anymore. But he kept it for Deutsch.

“And now this glass is sad,” he says. “It’s a small souvenir of someone who I miss dearly…someone who was a pillar of the neighborhood.”

Poets and novelists have basically been writing about life under COVID-19 for more than a century

Poets and novelists have basically been writing about life under COVID-19 for more than a century

From 'islands of pain' to the 'peril of exposure,' writers have captured the fear, emptiness and despair that characterize life during the current pandemic, writes a poet and English scholar.

Rachel Hadas

From ‘islands of pain’ to the ‘peril of exposure,’ writers have captured the fear, emptiness and despair that characterize life during the current pandemic, writes a poet and English scholar.


Marco Rosario Venturini Autieri/Getty


Pondering the former Dixie Chicks – renamed “The Chicks” – Amanda Petrusich wrote in a recent issue of the New Yorker, “Lately, I’ve caught myself referring to a lot of new releases as prescient – work that was written and recorded months or even years ago but feels designed to address the present moment. But good art is always prescient, because good artists are tuned into the currency and the momentum of their time.”

That last phrase about currency and momentum recalls Hamlet’s advice to the actors visiting the court of Elsinore to show “the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.” The shared idea here is that good art gives a clear picture of what is happening – even, as Petrusich suggests, if it hadn’t happened yet when that art was created.

Good artists seem, in our alarming and prolonged time (I was going to write moment, but it has come to feel like a lot more than that), to be leaping over months, decades and centuries, to speak directly to us now.

‘Riding into the bottomless abyss’

Some excellent COVID-19-inflected or anticipatory work I’ve been noticing dates from the mid-20th century. Of course, one could go a lot further back, for example to the lines from the closing speech in “King Lear”: “The weight of this sad time we must obey.” Here, though, are a few more recent examples.

Marcel Proust wrote that in wartime Paris, ‘all the hotels … had closed. The same was true of almost all the shops, the shop-keepers … having fled to the country, and left the usual handwritten notes announcing that they would reopen.’


 L. Bombard, from L’Illustrazione Italiana/Getty

Marcel Proust’s “Finding Time Again,” an evocation of wartime Paris from 1916, strongly suggests New York City in March 2020: “Out on the street where I found myself, some distance from the centre of the city, all the hotels … had closed. The same was true of almost all the shops, the shop-keepers, either because of a lack of staff or because they themselves had taken fright, having fled to the country, and left the usual handwritten notes announcing that they would reopen, although even that seemed problematic, at some date far in the future. The few establishments which had managed to survive similarly announced that they would open only twice a week.”

I recently stumbled on finds from the 1958 edition of Oscar Williams’ “The Pocket Book of Modern Verse” – both, strikingly, from poems by writers not now principally remembered as poets. Whereas a fair number of the poets anthologized by Williams have slipped into oblivion, Arthur Waley and Julian Symons speak to us now, to our sad time, loud and clear.

From Waley’s “Censorship” (1940):

It is not difficult to censor foreign news.
What is hard to-say is to censor one’s own thoughts,-
To sit by and see the blind man
On the sightless horse, riding into the bottomless abyss.

And from Symons’ “Pub,” which Williams doesn’t date but which I am assuming also comes from the war years:

The houses are shut and the people go home, we are left in
Our island of pain, the clocks start to move and the powerful
To act, there is nothing now, nothing at all
To be done: for the trouble is real: and the verdict is final
Against us.

‘Return to what remains’

In an 1897 novel, Henry James wrote ‘She couldn’t leave her own house without peril of exposure. 


Hulton Archive/Getty

Dipping a bit further back, into Henry James’ “The Spoils of Poynton” from 1897, I was struck by a sentence I hadn’t remembered, or had failed to notice, when I first read that novella decades ago: “She couldn’t leave her own house without peril of exposure.” James uses infection as a metaphor; but what happens to a metaphor when we’re living in a world where we literally can’t leave our houses without peril of exposure?

In Anthony Powell’s novel “Temporary Kings,” set in the 1950s, the narrator muses about what it is that attracts people to reunions with old comrades-in-arms from the war. But the idea behind the question “How was your war?” extends beyond shared military experience: “When something momentous like a war has taken place, all existence turned upside down, personal life discarded, every relationship reorganized, there is a temptation, after all is over, to return to what remains … pick about among the bent and rusting composite parts, assess merits and defects.”

The pandemic is still taking place. It’s too early to “return to what remains.” But we can’t help wanting to think about exactly that. Literature helps us to look – as Hamlet said – before and after.

This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to unlocking ideas from academia, under a Creative Commons license.

Notre Dame Cathedral’s organ getting 4-year-long cleaning

Notre Dame Cathedral's organ getting 4-year-long cleaning

Philippe Lefebvre plays the organ at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, May 2, 2013. Pipe by precious pipe, the organ that once thundered through fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral is being taken apart. The mammoth task of dismantling, cleaning and re-assembling France’s largest musical instrument started Monday Aug. 3, 2020 and is expected to last nearly four years.


Christophe Ena/AP/File photo


Stray Kids – Airplane Lyrics


Bihaenggi bihaenggi

Meolli tteona ollataja bihaenggi
Neowa na hamkke taneun bihaenggi
We are, we are eodideun gayo
We are, we are neowaneun eodideunji gaji

Okay eodideunji gaji jigu jeo kkeutkkaji
Haewa dari batong teochihan hu dasi haega tteul ttaekkaji
Mannal ttaemada naraganeun gibun
Hansirado akkawo 1bun
Akkyeobojago pullin sinbal kkeundo mot mukkeosseo

Paran haneul barabomyeo geonneun geotdo joeunde
Jeo haneulgwa deo gakkapge
Yeonghwa gamsangeun saekdareuge
Ginae eumnyowa eoreumeun jeokdanghage
Uwa gamtansawa mm mm mm
Noraenmal ttara Paris anim London eottae

Ay, ay, gidaryeobwa
Jamkkanman jinjeonghaebwa
Ay, ay, itjana na
Nega nan neomu joa

Cheoeumbuteo neon
Nae simjangeul heundeulgo nareul michige hae

Meolli tteona ollataja bihaenggi
Neowa na hamkke taneun bihaenggi
We are, we are eodideun gayo
We are, we are neowaneun eodideunji gaji

Jim ssago wa ollataja bihaenggi
Gachi ga nal ttarawa bihaenggi
We are, we are
We high, we high
Meollimeolli neowaneun eodideunji gaji ya ya

Today’s the day to fly away
Gidaega dwae gureum chimdae
Sangsanghalsurok mami pyeonhaejyeo baby
Ppalli nawa mot chama seolleneun gibun mallya

Deudieo namui nunchi boji anko swil su isseo
Geudongan ssain modeun geotdeul changmun bakke deonjyeo
Pyeonhage dulmanui segyee inneunde
Eoneu sungan dochakan igoseun New York anim LA

Ay, ay, gidaryeobwa
Jamkkanman jinjeonghaebwa
Ay, ay, itjana na
Nega nan neomu joa

Cheoeumbuteo neon
Nae simjangeul heundeulgo nareul michige hae

Meolli tteonajago ollata bihaenggi
Neowa danduriseo taneun bihaenggi
We are, we are
We high, we high
Meollimeolli eodideun gayo

Jim ssago wa ollataja bihaenggi
Gachi ga nal ttarawa bihaenggi
We are, we are eodideun gayo
We are, we are neowaneun eodideunji gaji

Now put your hands up
Urineun maeil maeil
Joeun neukkim gajigoseo tteona
Now put your hands up
Urineun maeil maeil
Meolli tteona
We falling in love yeah

Girl I will show you Neverland
Nan neoui piteo paen naui son nochi ma babe
Amudo bon jeogi eomneun geol
Neoman boige modeun geol da nege julge

Wait jom deo nae yeopeuro wa closer
Neutgi jeone nareul bwa my lover
Kkumsogeseojocha nan
Meolli tteonaneun sangsangeul hae

Now put your hands up
Urineun maeil maeil
Joeun neukkim gajigoseo tteona
Now put your hands up
Urineun maeil maeil
Joeun neukkim gajigoseo
Tteona everywhere

Meolli tteona bihaenggi tago
Neowa na danduri ganeun trippin’
Jim ssago wa bihaenggi tago
Meollimeolli neowaneun eodideunji gaji


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멀리 떠나 올라타자 비행기
너와 나 함께 타는 비행기
We are, we are 어디든 가요

We are, we are 너와는 어디든지 가지

Okay 어디든지 가지 지구 저 끝까지
해와 달이 바통 터치한 후 다시 해가 뜰 때까지
만날 때마다 날아가는 기분
한시라도 아까워 1분
아껴보자고 풀린 신발 끈도 못 묶었어

파란 하늘 바라보며 걷는 것도 좋은데
저 하늘과 더 가깝게
영화 감상은 색다르게
기내 음료와 얼음은 적당하게
우와 감탄사와 mm mm mm
노랫말 따라 Paris 아님 London 어때

Ay, ay, 기다려봐
잠깐만 진정해봐
Ay, ay, 있잖아 나
네가 난 너무 좋아

처음부터 넌
내 심장을 흔들고 나를 미치게 해

멀리 떠나 올라타자 비행기
너와 나 함께 타는 비행기
We are, we are 어디든 가요
We are, we are 너와는 어디든지 가지

짐 싸고 와 올라타자 비행기
같이 가 날 따라와 비행기
We are, we are
We high, we high
멀리멀리 너와는 어디든지 가지 ya ya

Today’s the day to fly away
기대가 돼 구름 침대
상상할수록 맘이 편해져 baby
빨리 나와 못 참아 설레는 기분 말야

드디어 남의 눈치 보지 않고 쉴 수 있어
그동안 쌓인 모든 것들 창문 밖에 던져
편하게 둘만의 세계에 있는데
어느 순간 도착한 이곳은 New York 아님 LA

Ay, ay, 기다려봐
잠깐만 진정해봐
Ay, ay, 있잖아 나
네가 난 너무 좋아

처음부터 넌
내 심장을 흔들고 나를 미치게 해

멀리 떠나자고 올라타 비행기
너와 단둘이서 타는 비행기
We are, we are
We high, we high
멀리멀리 어디든 가요

짐 싸고 와 올라타자 비행기
같이 가 날 따라와 비행기
We are, we are 어디든 가요
We are, we are 너와는 어디든지 가지

Now put your hands up
우리는 매일 매일
좋은 느낌 가지고서 떠나
Now put your hands up
우리는 매일 매일
멀리 떠나
We falling in love yeah

Girl I will show you Neverland
난 너의 피터 팬 나의 손 놓지 마 babe
아무도 본 적이 없는 걸
너만 보이게 모든 걸 다 네게 줄게

Wait 좀 더 내 옆으로 와 closer
늦기 전에 나를 봐 my lover
꿈속에서조차 난
멀리 떠나는 상상을 해

Now put your hands up
우리는 매일 매일
좋은 느낌 가지고서 떠나
Now put your hands up
우리는 매일 매일
좋은 느낌 가지고서
떠나 everywhere

멀리 떠나 비행기 타고
너와 나 단둘이 가는 trippin’
짐 싸고 와 비행기 타고
멀리멀리 너와는 어디든지 가지

This writer is grappling with the paradox of public parks in Paris

This writer is grappling with the paradox of public parks in Paris

Adam Wernick

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The Medici Fountain is a must-see highlight of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Writer John Freeman has spent much time in this park, contemplating humanity’s place in the natural world and how parks shape and change us.


Joe deSousa/Flickr CC 1.0


A new book of poetry by John Freeman, “The Park,” uses the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris as a lens to peer into the paradox of how public green space can provide refuge and access to beauty for some while excluding others.

For the last five or six years, Freeman has spent his summers and winters in Paris. Most of the time, he lives near the Luxembourg Gardens, so it has become “a kind of second home” to him, he said.

“I’ve studied it and lived in it and grieved in it, and missed people in it and met friends in it. So, to me, it feels like another part of my mental circulatory system,” Freeman said.

As the United States has “gone through this spasm of anxiety over what a citizen means,” Freeman said, he’s been spending much of his time in the park, which he now sees as “a kind of giant metaphor for how we live together and who we allow in and who we kick out.”

“I began to write poems in the park, not really thinking in those terms right away, just simply observing the park,” he said. “And gradually, as I transferred them from my notebook to my computer, I realized I was thinking about more than just a park, but about how we live together.”

RelatedConnecting with nature in the time of COVID-19

In his poems, Freeman explores the paradox of public parks being open to all, yet also finding ways to exclude some people. Paris, which has over 400 parks and gardens and some 1,000 fountains, has a long history of exclusion that continues to the present day, Freeman said.

The Luxembourg Palace, surrounded by the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France.


Rdevany, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

“When I was living in Paris, especially in the last couple of years since the Syrian civil war, you would see migrants, some of whom who had even walked all the way to Paris from a war zone, living in the park,” he said. “Once Macron was elected, he was quite brutal about excluding migrants from public spaces, pushing them out of the city, pushing them out of parks. …

[T]he park encourages you to have a meditative and kind of expansive mode of thinking and people, once they’re in the park, tend to be pretty tolerant of being around each other, and yet there are all these official policies which say certain people are not allowed.”

But parks can also be spaces that open up the possibility of tenderness between people, between people and animals and between humans and the natural world, Freeman suggests.

“As a world, as a society, as a group of humans, I think we’re desperate for tenderness,” he said. “Because we’ve been seeing its opposite for so long — on broadcast and on social media and on all the ways that we get information. And right now, in the middle of this pandemic, I think people are rediscovering the power of tenderness because we’re with each other more.”

When you enter a park, such as the Luxembourg Gardens, Freeman believes “your way of thinking changes and your capacity to be around others expands.”

“There’s no better contrast than the difference between, say, being on Twitter, where you get none of the signals [of] face-to-face communication — tone of voice and body language, smells, touch. So, people are meaner to each other. They just are,” he said.

Cognitive scientists who study face-to-face communication versus computer-mediated communication confirm there is a great difference between the two, he said.

“The park is, to me, the ultimate retreat back into the full capacity of human-to-human communication, and in that sense, I think we need these spaces desperately.”

“The park is, to me, the ultimate retreat back into the full capacity of human-to-human communication, and in that sense, I think we need these spaces desperately,” Freeman insists. “We need places where people can get out of the spaces that bring out the worst in us [and] into those that bring out a more thoughtful register.”

RelatedGetting outside is a prescription for better health

“We’ve been sold, through the internet, this idea of public space online, which tends, I think in many ways, to destroy actual physical public space because it draws people into these imaginary spaces, these digital spaces, whereas the public ones are not used as much as they used to be,” he continues. “But I hope this pause, as horrible as it’s going to be — if we can get through it, if we can survive it — makes us remember that public space can be a really beautiful, enlarging thing, especially parks. That they’re there for us to be in to share with other people, that there’s nothing so beautiful as sitting on a park bench and having a picnic. Whatever you’re eating, it’s ennobled by a tree looking down on you, and if we get out of this I think there’s going to be a flood of people going to parks.”

Parks can also be a place of discovery or self-soothing, a place where a small detail can instill a particular feeling or desire. One of Freeman’s poems, “The Folded Wing,” expresses this experience: 

The lone duck in
Medici Fountain
slips her beak
beneath a wing
and falls asleep.
Drifting like a
hat tossed into
a green pond.
How good it feels
to be one’s own
comfort, to discover
all the warmth we
need buried in
our bodies. Yes
we bleed, we are
broken, we get
just one body, yet,
there it lies most of
the time, calling
to us, saying, rest here,
lie down in me, I
am more than less
than you, even in a
world that treats
us as two.

“There is something enormously comforting about being in a world where nature abounds,” Freeman said. “And when you can find a space, a public space, where, even if it’s built, even if it’s crafted, even if it’s kind of a fiction, you’re around trees and ducks and birds and animals and light and air and shade and insects and water, you feel this sort of age-old force calling to you.”

This article is based on an interview with Jenny Doering that aired on Living on Earth from PRX.

Moise The Dude – 6 Du Lyrics

[Couplet unique]
6 du, Paris la nuit, Paris, la rue
Mes mains sous sa jupe, mes mains sur son cul
J’lui précise que
Elle n’aurait pas mon cœur, elle n’aurait qu’ma queue
Et j’lui promets rien, en lui mordillant les seins
Et j’suis plus qu’honnête
Tout en étant une ordure de la pire espèce
Tout en étant les deux faces de la même pièce
6 du, beaucoup d’alcool dans les veines
Trop d’mélancolie dans les gènes
J’pense au passé qui r’viendra plus

J’pense au futur incertain, vu qu’à présent j’suis perdu
J’pense à c’qui coince et j’suis rincé
Je sais déjà qu’c’est terminé
Et elle s’inquiète et j’me marre
Pour une fois qu’c’est moi qui rentre tard
6 du, et tout bascule, l’histoire se répète
Adieu femme renarde, à bientôt brunette
Quelle vie hein ? Vie d’chien
A quoi ça tient ? Ça tient à rien

Naod – Avengers Lyrics

Vill du mötas baby vi kan gå å’ aah
Du sa jag har F.F baby vi kan aah
Tappar ba’ min fokus varje gång vi aah
Så baby möt mig så vi kan bara aah

[Vers 1]
Varje gång hon väcker mig så är det aah, ey
Varje gång vi tjafsar löser vi med aah, ey
Varje gång hon pluggar stör jag så vi aah, ey
Och vi ser aldrig klart en film för vi ba’ aah
Bands will make her dance, å’ hon pull up med en ny benz
Pree me in min range, å’ hon vill bara vara i den
Hon sa hon va lojal men, åkte i vänsterfilen
Gamla birden blev lack, för hon såg mig med den nya
Nu snackar vi knappt, för hon catcha mig med tia
Shoppar med min nya bird, å’ hon e’ kvar i gallerian
Pizza i Paris, å hon e’ kvar i pizzerian
Här får du ett plåster, om jag såra dina känslor

Vill du mötas baby vi kan gå å’ aah
Du sa jag har F.F baby vi kan aah
Tappar ba’ min fokus varje gång vi aah
Så baby möt mig så vi kan bara aah

[Vers 2]
Skolan gav inte g, så satt två på mitt bälte
Mina dom e’ inte bra, hatarna bara svälter
Nu jag har fyra shows, bara på två nätter
Å’ glider runt i en hästskon, å’ känner mig som en hjälte

Vet ni vad jag gör här, borde va’ i avengers
In the trap med batman, sen vi tagga på adventure
I put my girl in a mission, så hon fick följa med
Hon vill ba’ ha min attention, så jag gav henne de’
Sa till henne du e’ catwoman hon börja le
Nu jag visar henne stash:et och hon sa jag ser
Du har jobbat hårt ett tag, du bör koppla av
Kommer inte lugna mig, förrens jag lagt av
Och det kostar, å’ leva som jag
Å’ när det åskar, måste jag ha något kvar
In the trap med mitt lag, å’ det klart att vi vinner
Hatare har det knas, å’ ligger långt ifrån millen
Varje måltid gör mig glad, som jag äter happy meal, man
Så kom med mig baby å’ låt oss skapa minnen

Vill du mötas baby vi kan gå å’ aah
Du sa jag har F.F baby vi kan aah
Tappar ba’ min fokus varje gång vi aah
Så baby möt mig så vi kan bara aah
Vill du mötas baby vi kan gå å’ aah
Du sa jag har F.F baby vi kan aah
Tappar ba’ min fokus varje gång vi aah
Så baby möt mig så vi kan bara aah

In France, the killing of George Floyd invokes the memory of Adama Traoré

In France, the killing of George Floyd invokes the memory of Adama Traoré

George Floyd’s killing sparked protests across the world. In France, it reignited calls for justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old French Malian man who died in police custody almost four years ago.

Lucy Martirosyan

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Assa Traoré, sister of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old, black Frenchman who died in 2016 during police detention, poses during an interview with Reuters in Beaumont-sur-Oise, near Paris, June 7, 2020. 


Lucien Libert/Reuters


The death George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man killed by a white police officer on camera late last month in Minneapolis, has sparked protests in cities across the world, including Amsterdam, Seoul and London.

In France, Floyd’s death has reignited calls for justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old French Malian man who died in police custody in a Paris suburb almost four years ago.

Over the weekend, more than 23,000 people across France continued to pay homage to both Traoré and Floyd, denouncing systemic racism and police brutality in a dozen cities including Lyon, Lille, Nice, Bordeaux and Metz. Fearing violence, French police banned protests in front of the US Embassy and on the Champ de Mars lawns in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday.

Related: Protesters worldwide face controversial police tactics

French President Emmanuel Macron asked Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to accelerate propositions for improving France’s police code of ethics. It’s a request Macron said he’s been demanding since the gilets jaunes or “yellow vests” protests against pension reforms in January.

In a press conference on Monday, Castaner announced that French law enforcement would abandon the policing technique known as le plaquage ventral, or “ventral plating,” a method of forceful detainment that involves “the strangulation” of the neck. Castaner also said he would request the suspension of officers involved in suspected racism, referring to an investigation into racist messages allegedly exchanged by police officers in a private Facebook group of nearly 8,000 members.

For the first time since Traoré’s death in 2016, Macron also asked Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet to look into the case.

Related: Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

During last Tuesday’s protests in Paris, Assa Traoré, Adama Traoré’s older sister, drew parallels between Floyd and her brother, saying the two black men died the same way in the hands of police.

“Tonight, this fight is no longer just the fight of the Traoré family, it’s everyone’s struggle,” Assa Traoré said. “We are fighting for our brother, in the US, George Floyd, and for Adama.”

The French capital alone garnered support from crowds of more than 20,000 people, defying a ban on large gatherings during the country’s COVID-19 state of emergency. 

On the same day, June 2, Castaner defended the police, criticizing peaceful protests that turned violent. In a tweet, he said that violence has no place in a democracy. And he congratulated the police for “their control and composure.”

La violence n’a pas sa place en démocratie.
Rien ne justifie les débordements survenus ce soir à Paris, alors que les rassemblements de voie publique sont interdits pour protéger la santé de tous.
Je félicite les forces de sécurité & secours pour leur maîtrise et leur sang-froid.

— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) June 2, 2020

A protester is detained during a banned demonstration in memory of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to the killing of George Floyd in the United States, on the Place de la Republique in Lille, France, June 4, 2020. 


Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Since her brother’s death, Assa Traoré launched Truth for Adama, an organization that has been trying to prove that Adama Traoré died by asphyxiation at the hands of the French police.

Related: The parallels of police violence in the US and around the world 

On July 19, 2016, French gendarmes — a military force within law enforcement in France — stopped Adama Traoré as he was riding his bike with his brother on the streets of Beaumont-sur-Oise. Adama Traoré, who didn’t have his identification card on him, ran away fearing arrest. Identity checks are part of legislation in France to clamp down on illegal immigration, and police are known to abuse this practice against any person of color in Parisian suburbs. 

Officers chased him down and forcibly detained him. While transported to the police station, Adama Traoré’s condition worsened. He died that evening in police custody while his family was waiting for him at home to celebrate his 24th birthday.

A French court ruled that the gendarmes had no involvement in Adama Traoré’s death and that he died due to underlying health conditions and heart failure.

While the officers involved in the case were exonerated this month, a new, independent report requested by the Traoré family released last week said he died by “positional asphyxiation” — contradicting the original autopsy.

Yassine Bouzrou, the lawyer representing the Traoré family, said that the police used the ventral plating technique where, Bouzrou says, three officers pinned him down onto his stomach with their full weight on top of him — totaling 551 pounds.

Related: ‘No justice, no peace’: Thousands in London protest

“When he was arrested, it was extremely violent. He was crushed by the weight of police officers on top of him. … [Adama Traoré] said he couldn’t breathe.”

Yassine Bouzrou, lawyer, France

“When he was arrested, it was extremely violent. He was crushed by the weight of police officers on top of him,” Bouzrou said. “[Adama Traoré] said he couldn’t breathe.”

Adama Traoré’s death resonates especially with black French people and Maghrebis — North Africans — living in Parisian suburbs who say they feel targeted by police.

“The way people are treated at the banlieue [suburb], it’s like a map,” said Franco Lollia, an Afro Caribbean activist with the Brigade for Anti-Negrophobia in Paris, through an interpreter. “You could compare it to redlining in the United States.”

Redlining was banned more than 50 years ago in the US, but reports say that it reinforced segregation and economic disparities that persist in these cities today. 

According to a 2012 report by Human Rights Watch, young black or Arab French people living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in French cities are more likely to be stopped by the police, suggesting that the gendarmes and police in France engage in racial and ethnic profiling.

Related: Human rights should be ‘top value,’ says Ukraine’s former police chief

Lollia, who founded his group in 2005, says there is a psychological, implicit bias that exists against people of color in Parisian suburbs, which ultimately perpetuates systemic racism.

When Adama Traoré died that summer nearly four years ago, his death became a rallying call in the suburbs of Paris against police brutality. That July, in 2016, protests lasted for several days in the French capital, with some violent clashes between civilians and police. People in France were starting to make connections to the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, Lollia said, drawing parallels to Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner, who also said, “I can’t breathe.”

A protester holds a sign during a banned demonstration in memory of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to the death of George Floyd in the United States, on the Place de la Republique in Lille, France, June 4, 2020.


Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Lollia connected Traoré’s case to that of Floyd, — but with one major distinction.

“What happened to George Floyd was on camera. What happened to Adama was not on film. … So, if I may say so, they didn’t get the chance to get the death on video. This is how cynical the situation gets for us to prove our innocence. It has to be taped.”

Franco Lollia, activist, Brigade for AntiNegrophobia, Paris, France

“What happened to George Floyd was on camera. What happened to Adama was not on film,” Lollia said. “So, if I may say so, they didn’t get the chance to get the death on video. This is how cynical the situation gets for us to prove our innocence. It has to be taped.”

Bouzrou agrees that there are many similarities between the two cases.

“The first point in common is that both [Floyd and Traoré] died by the ‘ventral plating’ technique, with police officers on top of their backs,” Bouzrou said. “Three police officers were on top of Floyd. And three gendarmes on top of Adama Traoré. The second point in common — they both said they couldn’t breathe. The third point in common is that, in both cases, the first [autopsy] claimed that they died because of a heart attack — Traoré and Floyd. [Fourth,] thanks to independent reports, the real cause of death was found — that is to say, the death was caused by the arrests.”

And finally, Bouzrou said, Adama Traoré and George Floyd were both victims of being black men.

Meanwhile, France’s Police Union official, Yves Lefebvre, insists the two cases are different. According to the BBC, he warned that France’s banlieues were like a pressure cooker, “ready to explode.”

Even though this new report supports Assa Traoré’s claim that her brother was killed by officers, Bouzrou is not hopeful.

Ultimately, he says, President Macron has supported the Paris prosecutor’s office that first suggested Adama Traoré died because of preexisting conditions.

“For us, this position is political because it comes from Macron,” he said.

As for Assa Traoré and her family, Bouzrou says they won’t feel justice is served for Adama Traoré until people fight for it.

“We have to fight and denounce this judicial scandal,” Bouzrou said.

Millennials in China reexamine their spending habits as economy recovers

Millennials in China reexamine their spending habits as economy recovers

Rebecca Kanthor

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Visitors hold face masks at the Shanghai Disneyland theme park as it reopens following a shutdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, China May 11, 2020. 


Aly Song/Reuters


In China, millennials — defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996 — have been known to be big spenders. But as the Chinese economy recovers from a coronavirus-induced slowdown, many young people are reexamining their lives and their spending habits.

Wang Aijing, 29, was living the single life in Shanghai, and making a good living working as a fashion journalist. ”I don’t see it’s necessary to save money. Because, for me, like marriage or buying a house — it’s too far away from me,” she said.

Related: Governments work on recovery plans as societies open up 

“Everything was just a mess for me. I realized that I really need to rethink about the whole financial status of myself. And then I realized how much I spend — not very reasonably.”

Wang Aijing, 29

Then the coronavirus outbreak turned everything upside down. Her company downsized, she lost her job, and her plans for the future disappeared. “Everything was just a mess for me. I realized that I really need to rethink about the whole financial status of myself,” she said. “And then I realized how much I spend — not very reasonably.”

She wasn’t alone. A study reported by a Shanghai paper showed that 45% of young people under 30 had experienced a drop in income during the COVID-19 outbreak, more than any other age group.

It was time for a new plan. Last month, she started to save money regularly in her bank account. And she’s changed her shopping habits too: no more buying clothes and makeup.

Related: China sends a new message about centuries-old chopstick tradition

She and her friends started downloading new apps on their phones to sell off secondhand electronics and get group deals. “In the past, we probably would laugh at people who use that, too,” she said. “But now it seems like we discovered its beauty. It’s really bringing cheaper stuff, and it’s okay quality.”

Another poll taken in April showed that more than half of Chinese shoppers under 30 plan to start managing their finances better.

James Roy, an American market analyst in Shanghai, has been paying close attention to young shoppers and people who buy luxuries. He says he’s noticed several shopping trends in post-COVID China. There are revenge shoppers, who did consolation shopping once quarantine ended. There are those who are embracing a simpler life, albeit one marked by fewer but higher quality products. And then there are the bargain hunters, like Aijing.

“Especially this younger group, they’ve been the ones that have been saving the least, you know, they’re big credit card users and have been very avid shoppers,” he said. “I think, in a way, this is a time for some of them where that’s kind of caught up to them.”

Monthly shopping promotions are offering great deals as the government tries to stimulate the economy. And travel restrictions have removed focused spending domestically. 

“You’re not spending that money overseas like when you’re traveling to Hong Kong or to Paris or to Tokyo or Seoul. So, all of that money that they would have been spending abroad is getting spent domestically.”

James Roy, market analyst in Shanghai,

“You’re not spending that money overseas like when you’re traveling to Hong Kong or to Paris or to Tokyo or Seoul,” Roy said. “So, all of that money that they would have been spending abroad is getting spent domestically.”

Related: Shanghai Disneyland reopens — with face masks and social distancing 

Despite these temptations, saving money has actually turned into a new lifestyle for Aijing and others.

She used to grab an expensive latté at an independent coffee shop. Now? She heads to Starbucks for early morning 50%-off deals. She used to meet her friends for brunch at the latest hotspot. Now they choose a restaurant where they can use coupons or points. Sometimes they’ll entertain at home — something they never did before.

She’s found a community of young people just like her in online budgeting groups.  

“It’s interesting to see how they use money, how they save up, how they live the life they feel more meaningful.”

Wang Aijing, 29

“It’s interesting to see how they use money, how they save up, how they live the life they feel more meaningful,” she said. “There are some people saving up money for trips, honeymoon, or their children’s education. There’s always a purpose. I like that. I like saving up money for something that makes your life better.”

The biggest change Aijing is making, though? In a few months, she’ll pack her bags and move back in with her parents in southern Guangxi province — more than 1,000 miles away from her life in Shanghai. She expects to find a job that will pay less than a quarter of the salary she made in Shanghai. But without the temptations of big city life and with no rent and few living expenses, she’ll finally be able to save big.

For many embracing a thrifty lifestyle, it isn’t exactly by choice. But Aijing is feeling positive about it.  

“I feel like although I was paid — OK, I was paid good, but that is at the expense of my life. I just feel like pulling together all the resources that I have makes me feel like I’m smarter than before and it’s a normal thing that everyone does and it is nothing shameful,” she said.

Now that saving has become a habit for her, she has new dreams of what she can achieve, including an apartment for herself and a summer holiday in Italy. The pandemic may have taken Aijing’s job, but it’s also given her a new outlook on life.

A 26-year manhunt for Rwandan genocide fugitive ends

A 26-year manhunt for Rwandan genocide fugitive ends

Halima Gikandi

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Dimitrie Sissi Mukanyiligira, a Rwandan genocide survivor looks at a laptop computer with the webpage showing the pictures of the Rwandan genocide fugitive Félicien Kabuga, as she takes part in a Reuters interview in Kigali, Rwanda, May 18, 2020. 


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The 26-year hunt for Félicien Kabuga —  spanning two continents and lasting more than two decades — has finally come to an end. On Saturday morning, French police arrested the now 84-year-old Rwandan genocide fugitive from his apartment in a suburb of Paris.

“Félicien Kabuga has always been one of the most wanted fugitives. … He has always been considered as being one of the masterminds in relation to the genocide.”

 Serge Brammertz,  chief prosecutor, United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

“Félicien Kabuga has always been one of the most wanted fugitives,” Serge Brammertz, chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), told The World in an interview Monday. “He has always been considered as being one of the masterminds in relation to the genocide.” 

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In 1997, Kabuga was indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on seven counts of genocide and related crimes. His alleged role includes financing the 1994 genocide, arming militia groups, and heading a hate-filled radio station, Radio Télévision Mille Collines.

Genocide survivors such as Naphtal Ahishakiye, 46, still remember the words of hate on the radio. “Tutsi is the biggest enemy of Rwanda. Of Hutu. So the radio considered Tutsi as the animals, cockroaches,” he recalled hearing.

Ahishakiye is the executive secretary of Ibuka, a group for genocide survivors. Growing up as a Tutsi, he remembers the day-to-day discrimination by majority Hutu elites beginning long before 1994. 

Related: Syrian officials on trial for war crimes in Germany

After spending 100 days hiding at neighbors’ homes and in the forest, only he and two sisters survived — the rest of his family died, including his parents, brothers and cousins, he said. At least 800,000 people are estimated to have been killed, the majority of them Tutsis.

While the ICTR officially concluded in 2015, ongoing cases were turned over to the IRMCT — now led by Brammertz — and continued to pursue Kabuga. 

“We can never give up looking for those fugitives,” said Brammertz, speaking about the international community. 

Previous attempts to capture Kabuga have failed, most notably a plot by the FBI and Kenyan authorities in 2003, which resulted in the death of an informant in Nairobi. The US has had a $5 million bounty on the fugitive. 

Two years ago, Brammertz established a new task force to track down Kabuga in partnership with European authorities. 

“We start[ed] where we were sure he was seen for the last time, which was in 2007 when he underwent surgery in Germany,” Brammertz said. He and his team began tracing Kabuga’s steps through Belgium and Luxembourg, identifying people who were likely to have helped him hide.

“Based on the analysis, phone profiles, financial information, we concluded two months ago that it was very likely that it was in a specific area in Paris,” Brammertz said.

“We are happy for France to facilitate this process to arrest Kabuga.  … In previous years, France didn’t play a role in this kind of justice.”

Naphtal Ahishakiye, executive secretary, Ibuka group for genocide survivors, Rwanda

“We are happy for France to facilitate this process to arrest Kabuga,” Ahishakiye said. “In previous years, France didn’t play a role in this kind of justice.”

Related: Thousands of ISIS fighters sit in prison. Kurdish leaders call for a special tribunal.

Indeed, the relationship between Rwanda and France has been strained by accusations that France was complicit in the genocide, an accusation it has historically denied. Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron directed a panel of experts to investigate France’s role in the genocide.

According to Brammertz, Kabuga will be transferred to the Mechanism Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, or The Hague, depending on travel restrictions that might exist due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When it comes to an actual trial, “it’s more likely that it takes closer to a year,” Brammertz said.

Economist Thomas Piketty: Pandemic exposes the ‘violence of social inequality’

Economist Thomas Piketty: Pandemic exposes the 'violence of social inequality'

April Peavey

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A protester displays a banner during a left-wing May Day demonstration as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Vienna, May 1, 2020.


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As the world was recovering from the Great Recession a few years ago, French economist Thomas Piketty’s book on income inequality, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” reached No. 1 on The New York Times bestseller list. It catapulted him to near-rock star status. 

His observations are prescient as the global economy sinks into its worst recession and unemployment soars amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Piketty’s new book, “Capital and Ideology,” which came out in March, examines the history of policies and political systems that have sustained economic inequality and how the world might move toward a fairer economic system. He spoke to The World’s host Marco Werman about the inequalities the pandemic has exposed. 

Related: COVID-19: The latest from The World

Marco Werman: May Day is Friday — it’s about workers and laborers. What does this particular May Day mean to you, as unemployment skyrockets around the world and the ability to work is so fragile during this pandemic? 

Thomas Piketty: Oh, you’re right. This is a very, very strange time. And you know what is crazy to me is, it illustrates really the very large prevalence and, in many ways, the violence of social inequality. 

We see that it doesn’t mean at all the same thing, depending on whether you are locked down in a big house or a nice apartment or whether you are with your family, a very small home — or the homeless people which, nobody really takes care of them properly. And also the existence of saving and wealth and income support allows you to remain in confinement. Whereas, people who have a very flexible labor market status, they have to go and work. This crisis is really illustrating both the violence of inequality and also the need for another economic system. 

Give me an example of one country that is looking soberly at the pandemic and thinking about ways of adjusting that economic inequality. 

I think at this stage, you know, everybody is trying to do something. So, some countries have initiatives like — in Portugal, they decided two weeks ago to have a temporary regularization of illegal migrants so at least they can provide income support for people in the street and access to health facilities and some kind of legal status. Actually, during this time of the pandemic, most of the countries in Europe did not do that. And I think, you know, it would be useful. I can see in the streets of Paris you have lots of homeless people. Far too little has been done with respect to this population. Now, the next step is going to be how do the different countries design the recovery after the crisis? 

Related: As the coronavirus drags on, Mexico’s food prices soar

So, maybe it’s too early to come up with a blanket solution in the pandemic timeline. But let’s take a small piece of the puzzle. In an ideal world, what would you do with those homeless people in Paris that you’ve seen in the new socioeconomic reality? 

Well, I think there are lots of empty apartments and certainly, lots of empty hotels right now because of falling tourism. But, I think in many cases, there is a kind of disillusion that, it’s very complicated, we cannot change the economic system. And my general message is that, yes, it is possible. And I think it would be better to use European monetary policy to invest in real economic sectors like, for instance, the environment; increase bottom wages and middle wages; and [treatment of] health care workers. And then, of course, we’ll also have to renovate our tax system. We need to go in the direction of a progressive tax on largely millionaires and billionaires. And for this, we’ll have to change. And, you know, we are not at this stage yet, but I think we, ideally, we should use this opportunity to think about this kind of perspective. 

So, the pandemic has created many opportunities, and some governments are taking them. The US under Donald Trump has gone its own way. The president seems to believe that he can literally and figuratively wall the US off from the rest of the world. If that position continues, what do you see economically happening to the US following this pandemic whenever it starts to subside? 

You know, as usual, the nationalist response and anti-immigrant response of people like Trump, in the long run, is not going to work. That’s why I’m optimistic in the long run that we will return to a more redistributive, internationalist perspective and policy. The problem is that the long run can be very, very far away. In the immediate future, this kind of very strong nationalist discourse can seem attractive to a number of voters, especially if they don’t see a clear alternative. I think that’s one additional reason to try to develop an alternative discourse about changing the economic system.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.