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Mediapart Mon 30 Nov 2015 30/11/2015 Latest edition

Paris climate summit: the unanswered questions

Nov 30, 2015 | By Jade Lindgaard

The international climate summit, COP21, starts at Le Bourget in north-east Paris on Monday November 30th in unusual circumstances. The host country France is under a state of emergency even as it welcomes leaders, negotiators and activists from around the world. As Mediapart's environment correspondent Jade Lindgaard reports, a deal at the summit appears to be within reach, but doubts and questions remain about the real direction of the negotiations.

France: a government outside the law, a state out of control

Nov 29, 2015 | By François Bonnet

Two weeks after the November 13th terror attacks, France's Fifth Republic is gripped by fear, a clamour for war and the spectacle of a government that is out of control. This headlong rush towards security at all costs – including the arrest of climate activists ahead of the Paris climate summit - is storing up new crises for the future. The fact that it is a socialist government that has taken France down this route recalls the bad old days of the discredited Fourth Republic, writes Mediapart editor François Bonnet.

The lottery of France's laws on smoking cannabis

Nov 28, 2015 | By Michaël Hajdenberg

For many years successive French governments have opposed the decriminalisation of cannabis, unlike many other countries. However, France did recently bring in on-the-spot police fines in a bid to simplify procedures and avoid lengthy and costly court cases for cannabis users. However, this new approach will not end the disparities and lack of coherence in the existing repressive policy, under which prosecution for using cannabis depends as much on who you are and where you live as on what you smoke. Michaël Hajdenberg reports.

France's soul-searching over why it became a terror target

Nov 27, 2015 | By Joseph Confavreux

Was France attacked on November 13th because of what it is – or what it does? The debate over whether the country's perceived status as a beacon for individual and social freedom or its foreign policy in the Middle East was the main factor behind the attacks by Islamic State is dominating social media and private conversations as well as public discourse. However, Joseph Confavreux argues that rather than simply trying to put itself in the minds of the terrorists, French society should focus on the wider impact for the country and the political responses that are now needed.

France's U-turn over Syria

Nov 25, 2015 | By Thomas Cantaloube

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, President François Hollande has carried out a 180 degree U-turn on French policy towards the Syria crisis. Previously the French stance was that neither Islamic State nor current leader Bashar al-Asad was acceptable in Syria. Now the approach is an all-out focus on destroying IS. On Thursday November 26th, Hollande will meet Assad's ally, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in Moscow to help build an alliance to destroy the organisation. But, Thomas Cantaloube argues, apart from air strikes, there seems little real strategy to restore peace to Syria and find a political solution.

Paris climate conference protests to go on despite ban on march

Nov 24, 2015 | By Jade Lindgaard

Following the recent terror attacks, public demonstrations have been banned in Paris. This includes the huge march for the climate planned for Sunday November 29th, on the eve of the opening of the COP 21 climate change conference in the French capital. Some groups have described the ban as an attack on civil liberties. Meanwhile the march organisers, the Coalition Climat 21, have vowed that some form of public demonstration – within the law – will still take place. Jade Lindgaard reports.

Revealed: how French secret services 'lost track' of one of the Bataclan bombers

Un survivant du Bataclan, après l'assaut des forces de l'ordre © ReutersUn survivant du Bataclan, après l'assaut des forces de l'ordre © Reuters

French intelligence agencies knew as far back as 2009 that Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, one of the three suicide bombers who attacked the Batalcan concert hall in Paris, had been radicalised in a group in France led by a veteran jihadist with a history of planning terrorist attacks, Mediapart can reveal. Mostefaï had also been spotted with the group when it was under surveillance in April 2014, and the authorities were later informed that he had almost certainly gone to Syria, at the same time as another future Bataclan bomber. But by late 2014 the secret services no longer knew of his whereabouts. He did not resurface again until November 13th, 2015, when he was part of the coordinated attacks that killed 130 people in Paris. The French authorities, however, deny there was any intelligence blunder. Yann Philippin, Marine Turchi and Fabrice Arfi report.

Democracy is not war

Nov 21, 2015 | By Edwy Plenel

The French parliament this week approved a three-month prolongation of the state of emergency introduced in the country immediately after the November 13th terrorist attacks in and around Paris which have left 130 people dead. The debate over the state of emergency powers is about its effectiveness, writes Mediapart editor in chief Edwy Plenel who argues here that the emphasis on security alone is a short-term response driven by an immediate political agenda which hands the perpetrators a symbolic victory, and which disarms French society as much as it protects it.

How French PM was 'evacuated' from his home close to terror attacks

Nov 19, 2015 | By Karl Laske and Louise Fessard
Manuel Valls, le 15 novembre  © ReutersManuel Valls, le 15 novembre © Reuters

Mediapart can reveal how during the Paris terror attacks on Friday night security service agents hastily removed France's prime minister Manuel Valls from his home which is just 300 metres from the scene of one of the restaurant shootings. At the same time, however, witnesses have complained that it took police around ten minutes to arrive at the scenes of the shootings as the gunmen rapidly made their murderous passage through the capital without once encountering a police unit. Karl Laske and Louise Fessard report.

The Paris attacks and Europe's 'overlooked' traffic in arms

Nov 18, 2015 | By Ludovic Lamant

One of the key issues arising from the Paris terror attacks on Friday November 13th is the apparent ease with which the perpetrators and other terrorists got their hands on significant numbers of “decommissioned” military assault weapons. Belgium, where some of those who carried out the Paris attacks lived, is said by many to be the hub of the flourishing illegal firearms trade in Europe. Mediapart's Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant interviewed Belgian expert Cédric Poitevin on the issue.

Afraid, the young people of Paris refuse to bow to terror

Les étudiants de la Sorbonne (Paris-V) observent une minute de silence, le lundi 16 novembre. © ReutersLes étudiants de la Sorbonne (Paris-V) observent une minute de silence, le lundi 16 novembre. © Reuters

The shootings and bombings in Paris on the evening of Friday November 13th targeted people – mainly young people – who had simply gone out to enjoy themselves. Two days after the killings Mediapart talked to pupils and students from the Paris region as they went back to school or university. Many spoke of their fear of being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and are still struggling to make sense of the carnage. But they insist they are determined to carry on living their lives to the full. Mathilde Goanec, Dan Israel, Amélie Poinssot and Ellen Salvi report.

President Hollande on war footing after Paris attacks

Nov 16, 2015 | By Lénaïg Bredoux and martine orange

After the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January this year President François Hollande's key focus was on pulling the nation together. Now, after the terror attacks that struck Paris on Friday November 13th, the French head of state has espoused the language of war to justify more air strikes by French jets in Syria and Iraq, stronger internal security measures, more police officers and, most notably, a change to the French constitution. In a rare address to French MPs and senators Hollande said on Monday: “France is at war.” As Lénaïg Bredoux and Martine Orange report, the mood in the French presidency is for tough talk and tough measures to combat jihadists – and also to stop the French Right from seizing the political initiative.

What France’s state of emergency means in practice

Nov 16, 2015 | By Michel de Pracontal

French President François Hollande announced a nationwide state of emergency on Saturday, granting the government exceptional powers in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in and around Paris that left at least 132 people dead. The powers initially last for 12 days, and Hollande announced on Monday he will seek parliamentary approval to prolong it for a period of three months. So just what are the special powers announced on Saturday? Michel de Pracontal explains.

Why Islamic State is targeting France

Nov 16, 2015 | By Joseph Confavreux
DATE IMPORTED:November 14, 2015Journalists work outside a restaurant where bullet impacts are seen the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes © REUTERS/Gonzalo FuentesDATE IMPORTED:November 14, 2015Journalists work outside a restaurant where bullet impacts are seen the day after a series of deadly attacks in Paris, France, November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris terror attacks on Friday, November 13th. But why has the terror group made France its “principal target”, ahead of other states involved in the anti-IS coalition in Iraq and Syria? French journalist and author David Thomson, an expert on French jihadists, explains the background to Mediapart's Joseph Confavreux.

France's anti-terrorist services overwhelmed by task at hand

Nov 15, 2015 | By Michel Deléan and Louise Fessard

The terrorist attacks in Paris that have left at least 129 dead and hundreds wounded on Friday evening were committed by Islamists whose activities were apparently ignored by the French security services. Yet in the wake of the January attacks in Paris, French intelligence services were promised more financial and manpower resources, and this summer they were handed vast new intrusive surveillance powers. So just why is it that they appear to be overwhelmed by the jihadist threat? Michel Deléan and Louise Fessard report.

'Change the system … ' : Why I did not hang a flag in my window…

Nov 30, 2015 | By Sylvie Brigot-Vilain
Last Friday, a solemn tribute was given to the 130 victims of the Paris attacks. French flags outside of windows and tweet #ProudofFrance. A national unity cleverly orchestrated from which it was difficult to escape without feeling vaguely guilty. But martial ripost instead of a global response and COP 21 hypocrisy - this is the system that needs to change.

Letter to my generation

Nov 25, 2015 | By sarah roubato
After the Paris attacks of November 13th, a battle cry similar to that of Charlie Hebdo's pen has been relayed on internet quite widely. This letter is a proposition to go beyond the mere symbol and to question ourselves on our society.

At Wembley

Nov 23, 2015 | By Olivier Holmey
At Wembley Stadium, on Tuesday, 71,000 fans gathered to watch a France-England friendly and pay homage to the victims of last week’s attacks in Paris. The audience put on a brave face, chanting and jumping and waving their flags, but just four days on from an act of terror that claimed 130 lives, there was little joy to be had.

What Paris means to those who grieve

Nov 18, 2015 | By Olivier Tonneau
I was caught in a kind of crossfire after the Friday attacks in Paris: soothed by all the messages of compassion, solidarity and love for Paris, and disturbed by those who understood these messages as indicative of a partial attitude towards tragedies that unfold around the world.

Pre-COP: the gap between 2°C and 3°C is leading to new climate crimes

Nov 8, 2015 | By Maxime Combes
Three weeks ahead of the opening of COP21, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius hosts a Pre-COP meeting in Paris between November 8-10, a penultimate gathering of ministers from around one hundred countries. A meeting with civil society organisations was held on Sunday morning. Here is the statement delivered on behalf of Attac France, as a member of the international coalition Climate Justice Now. 
Edition Les invités de Mediapart

The Paris Subterfuge: Budgeting for a Climate Tragedy

Nov 5, 2015 | By Les invités de Mediapart
Clive Hamilton, Australian thinker and economist, is Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, a member of the Australian government's Climate Change Authority and the author of "Requiem for a species" and "Earthmasters: Playing God with the climate". Three weeks before the opening of the COP 21 climate conference in Paris, he raises here two major questions: "What will be the magnitude of the global carbon budget?" and "What is the proportion of total carbon budget allocated to each nation?"
Edition Les invités de Mediapart

Piano Concerto no. 5, The Intifada !

Oct 26, 2015 | By Les invités de Mediapart
For the Palestinian students demonstrating at the Beth El checkpoint at the entrance to Ramallah, the English writer John Berger proposes  renaming Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5, The Intifada. « They too are inspired by a vision of happiness they cannot know in their lives. I send the Concerto as an arm to be used in their struggle against the Israelis who occupy and colonize their homeland. »
Edition ProPublica

The colour of debt: how collection suits squeeze black neighbourhoods

Oct 15, 2015 | By ProPublica
In the United States, debt collection lawsuits are far more common among black communities than white ones reveals this report by investigative website ProPublica in a first-of-its-kind analysis of the issue.

Live on Mediapart: Yanis Varoufakis's view of Europe

Sep 24, 2015 | By La rédaction de Mediapart
Yanis Varoufakis was a guest on Friday's special live and open access broadcast from Mediapart. The broadcast came five days after Greece's Parliamentary elections and Alexis Tsipras's former finance minister gave his verdict and observations on the outcome. Yanis Varoufakis also set out his vision of Europe and the profound reforms that need to be carried out in the eurozone to ensure that the single currency is no longer the instrument of a generalised policy of austerity in Europe. Listen to the broadcast (Varoufakis spoke in English with simultaneous French translation).
Edition English Club

A Plan B in Europe

Sep 12, 2015 | By Les invités de Mediapart
Why we are convening an international summit on a plan B for Europe, open to willing citizens, organisations and intellectuals, by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Member of the European Parliament, co-founder of the Parti de Gauche (France), Stefano Fassina, Member of the Italian Parliament, former Italian deputy minister of economy and finance (Italy), Zoe Konstantopoulou, President of the Hellenic parliament (Greece), Oskar Lafontaine, former German minister of finance, founder of Die Linke (Germany) and Yanis Varoufakis, Member of the Greek Parliament, former Greek minister of finance (Greece).

Refugees in Budapest

Sep 8, 2015 | By gabihorn
This morning it seems from media reports that the Hungarian police has given up trying to register the crowds of refugees coming through the broder with Serbia: "Have something to eat and drink, then go where you like "  is what migrants arriving in Hungary are told now.

Refugees: learning from the past

Sep 6, 2015 | By sue landau
This blog is both a cry of outrage and a plea: this is not the first time Europe has seen a tide of refugees, so let’s take the lessons from our recent past and stop greeting the terrible tragedy of today’s refugees with political and bureaucratic injustice.

In Istanbul, three Syrian families look to the EU

Sep 3, 2015 | By Alain Devalpo
More than 1.8 million Syrian refugees are now living in Turkey. Despite a long tradition of welcoming refugees, the infrastructure put in place at the start of the Syrian civil war can no longer cope with such a high number of refugees. Here, three Syrian families who settled in Istanbul recount their experiences, the precariousness of their situations, and their plans to reach Europe.

Freeze fossil fuel extraction to stop climate crimes

Aug 27, 2015 | By La rédaction de Mediapart
A hundred well-known figures have launched an appeal for a climate uprising, in the spirit of the social movements that put an end to the crimes of slavery, totalitarianism, colonialism and apartheid. Fossil fuels must be left in the ground, they should no longer be extracted and they should no longer be subsidised, say campaigners.
Edition Les invités de Mediapart

Our Athens Spring

Aug 25, 2015 | By Les invités de Mediapart
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was the guest speaker at the yearly socialist ‘fête de la Rose’ gathering in Frangy-en-Bresse in Burgundy on August 23rd, invited by former French economy minister and anti-austerity campaigner Arnaud Montebourg. This is the text in full of Varoufakis’ revealing and insightful speech.
Edition ProPublica

Amid drought, California experiments with leasing water rights

Aug 7, 2015 | By ProPublica
The state’s cities need water, and its farmers have it. Could leasing rights to it solve the crisis responsibly, asks US investigative website ProPublica in this analysis article by Abrahm Lustgarten.

'Europe is peace' - Analysis of an illusion

Jul 12, 2015 | By Olivier Tonneau
‘Should the peoples of the existing European states surrender to a supra-national authority some part, or all, of the constitutional powers which they exercise at present? Or should unity […] be pursued through cooperation between responsible governments by mutual consent?’
Edition ProPublica

A pharma payment a day keeps US doctors' finances OK

Jul 7, 2015 | By La rédaction de Mediapart
New data on payments from drug and device companies to US doctors show that many of the latter received payments on 100 or more days last year. Some even received payments on more days than they didn’t, reports US investigative website ProPublica, in a series of investigations tracking the financial ties between doctors and medical companies.

#OpenEurope – an appeal for stories

Jul 1, 2015 | By La rédaction de Mediapart
Get involved, tell us your stories, pass on the news! Mediapart is launching operation #OpenEurope in partnership with seven European and Tunisia media outlets plus a number of associations, collectives and NGOs. The aim: to make people more aware of the migrant tragedy and pass on details of how people all over Europe are doing something about it. For that, your participation is vital.
Edition ProPublica

Left in the brain: the potentially toxic residue from MRI drugs

Jun 17, 2015 | By La rédaction de Mediapart
Researchers have raised alarms about unknown health risks of GE Healthcare’s Omniscan and Bayer’s Magnevist, drugs injected to get better MRI pictures that contain the heavy metal gadolinium. US investigative website ProPublica reports on the disturbing evidence.

Turkey: the temptation to legalise the violation of human rights

May 17, 2015 | By Alain Devalpo
While Turkey gets ready for a crucial general election on June 7th, more than 40% of voters say they would not trust the results and are afraid of major electoral fraud. In this context, the recent vote by the Turkish parliament on 'internal security' legislation is not reassuring. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plan allows for the legalisation of certain human rights violations. Here academic Ibrahim Kaboğlu, a prominent figure in Turkish society, reacts against this security policy that started in the wake of the Gezi Park demonstrations.
Edition Les invités de Mediapart

What is common to the US, Greece, Portugal and others concerning Germany?

May 12, 2015 | By Les invités de Mediapart
Inspired by a talk I had with two statisticians in the National Statistical Institute of Portugal, and against the background of the repeated critique by the US Department of the Treasury Office of International Affairs on German economic policy, I analysed the foreign trade between Germany and Portugal. The result clearly supports the argument of the US Treasury – and shows what European politics lacks most, writes Thorsten Hild, editor of the German online journal Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft – Analyse & Meinung. 
Edition ProPublica

When a US newspaper stared down the country’s largest advertiser

Apr 22, 2015 | By ProPublica
A little-remembered incident helped establish the notion that news organizations could and should preserve their independence from advertisers, reports US investigative website ProPublica. As Wall Street Journal publisher Barney Kilgore told Time magazine: "For years almost everything in Detroit has been 'off the record.' We just decided not to play it that way. It isn't journalism."
Edition ProPublica

Hillary Clinton’s top five clashes over secrecy

Mar 17, 2015 | By ProPublica
The latest flap over Hillary Clinton's private emails when secretary of state is far from the first time she’s been accused of lacking transparency.

In Diyarbakir, in Turkey, the Kurds are gaining their autonomy step by step

Feb 26, 2015 | By Alain Devalpo
The Kurdish capital of Turkey, which has two millions inhabitants, faces a perilous time but is also full of hope. Since the start of the 20th century, the Kurds have been split between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, but today this population without a state is at the heart of the reconstruction of the Middle East.
Edition ProPublica

Alberto Nisman and Argentina’s history of assassinations and suspicious suicides

Feb 16, 2015 | By ProPublica
Whether the death of crusading Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman is found to be a suicide or homicide, many Argentines probably won’t believe it. The past has taught them to always look for the sinister explanation. 

Turkey: international press freedom on hold

Feb 16, 2015 | By Alain Devalpo
After the army, the judges, the police and the Turkish press, the conservative Turkish government keeps on finding new internal enemies. It is now the turn of international journalists to be the target of this government through attacks via the news or social media and even legal action.
Edition English Club

Scholars' Appeal for Greece

Feb 5, 2015 | By Les invités de Mediapart
We the undersigned call on the governments of Europe, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF to respect the decision of the Greek people to choose a new course and to engage the new government of Greece in good faith negotiations to resolve the Greek debt.

The aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks: introduction

Feb 1, 2015 | By MéLexTra JET
In this blog project on the theme of French responses to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, a group of Lille University masters degree students in English-French translation present a wide range of reports published in the French media in the aftermath of January’s shocking events. Their English versions of the articles, complete with glossaries and information notes, provide an insight into the personalities, groups and issues influencing debate and how these topics are reported in France.
Edition ProPublica

Judge orders NYPD to release records on bomb-sniffing X-ray vans

Jan 20, 2015 | By ProPublica
The New York Police Department has a secretive programme that uses unmarked vans with X-ray machines designed to detect bombs. US investigative website ProPublica tried to find out more about it, but the NYPD refused to answer for three years. Now a state judge has ordered the New York City Police Department to release records on the programme.

Vive la Résistance!

Jan 12, 2015 | By sue landau
Those who attacked France last week forgot that this is the country of resistance. On Sunday 11th January, 2015, a sea of people – no, an ocean – demonstrated against the killers of Charlie Hebdo, the assassins of ordinary police officers and the gunning down of Jews. It was a staggering sight to see, and was followed around the world.

Charlie Hebdo attack: this is not a clash of civilisations

Jan 12, 2015 | By A.mondon
The attack on Charlie Hebdo was an abominable tragedy. It struck the heart of one of our capitals and symbols of our democracies as terrorists attacked our freedom of the press.

On Charlie Hebdo: A letter to my British friends

Jan 11, 2015 | By Olivier Tonneau
      Dear friends,      A horrid assault was perpetrated against the French weekly Charlie Hebdo, who had published caricatures of Mohamed, by men who screamed that they had “avenged the prophet”. A wave of compassion followed but apparently died shortly afterward and all sorts of criticism started pouring down the web against Charlie Hebdo, who was described as islamophobic, racist and even sexist. Countless other comments stated that Muslims were being ostracized and finger-pointed.

You can't kill the spirit

Jan 7, 2015 | By sue landau
Paris, 7th January 2015.The day they tried to kill freedom.They don't know this song:“You can’t kill the spirit*She is like a mountainOld and strongShe goes on and on”...

Leviathan, directed by Andrei Zvyangintsev

Dec 28, 2014 | By François Holmey
Set in a remote village in the north of Russia, Leviathan tells with tragic beauty the story of Kolya, a car mechanic, in his struggle to prevent the local mayor from expropriating and redeveloping his land.

No Justice in Lima Outcome

Dec 14, 2014 | By Maxime Combes
Late in the night, 194 countries of the UN framework convention on climate change finally found an agreement. Far from satisfactory, this agreement jeopardizes any "historic agreement" in Paris. The climate justice NGOs and movements, including Attac France and the Friends of the Earth France, have released this first analysis.

2015: a landmark year in Turkish-Armenian relations

Dec 3, 2014 | By Alain Devalpo
The year 2015 approaches and with it a series of commemorations to mark the centenary of the Armenian genocide. On November 22nd and 23rd, 2014, the Hrant Dink Foundation organised various lectures at the University of Ankara where participants discussed the closed border between the young Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey.

Mediapart receives Jaime Arias award for journalistic excellence

Dec 2, 2014 | By La rédaction de Mediapart
The Association of European Journalists in Catalonia and the Barcelona daily newspaper La Vanguardia have named Mediapart as the recipient of the inaugural Jaime Arias award for journalistic excellence, a prize that was created this year in memory of one of the leading figures in Catalan journalism.

My crowd-funding campaign of shame

Nov 21, 2014 | By John Von Sothen
Hello everyone!I’ve noticed in the past few months that some of my close friends have used crowd-funding campaigns to raise money for their personal projects, whether it be for a film, a play, or a tummy tuck procedure. Each campaign turned out to be a big success, so I thought, why not try one myself?

The value of independence

Jan 27, 2014 | By Edwy Plenel
Mediapart occupies a place apart in the French press. It has no advertising, it receives no state subsidies and has no financier or industrialist behind it. Instead, it lives from the support alone of its readers.

About Mediapart

Sep 29, 2010 | By La rédaction de Mediapart
Launched in March, 2008, Mediapart is France's first fully-independent, ad-free news website, updated three times daily, seven days a week.