Keyword: Christophe Castaner

France’s anti-fake news law fails test over interior minister’s false claims

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Interior minister Christophe Castaner's false claims on Twitter on May 1st. Interior minister Christophe Castaner's false claims on Twitter on May 1st.

A newly introduced French law designed to combat the proliferation of false information on social media which may manipulate elections was tested this month for the first time, but not in the manner the government foresaw when it devised the legislation. Two communist politicians lodged a demand, under the articles of the law, for the removal of a message posted on Twitter by French interior minister Christophe Castaner, who falsely claimed that May Day demonstrators had attacked a Paris hospital and its staff. Géraldine Delacroix reports on how they lost their case, but won their demonstration that the law, as they put it, “serves no purpose”.

The French government's lies over May Day 'attack' on Paris hospital

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Police on motorbikes inside the grounds of Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, May 1st 2019. Police on motorbikes inside the grounds of Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, May 1st 2019.

The Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris has been at the centre of a major controversy after incidents that took place there in the aftermath of this year's annual May Day demonstrations. Throughout the evening of May 1st and into the following morning, several members of the government and senior health managers in Paris insisted the well-known hospital had been “attacked” by violent demonstrators. Yet in fact there was no such attack: instead, a few dozen protestors sought refuge in the hospital's buildings to escape police tear gas and charges. There was no threatening behaviour from protestors towards hospital staff and none of them damaged the premises. However, some were later hit by the police. Now interior minister Christophe Castaner has formally retracted his use of the word “attack”. Dan Israel reports.

'Yellow vest' protesters challenge claims they 'attacked' Paris hospital

Demonstrators from a march who entered the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital said they were just seeking refuge from tear gas fired by police.

France says it has foiled 'major' terrorist attack

French police source said four suspects had been arrested on suspicion of acquiring weapons 'with a view to committing a terrorist act'.

UN condemns French police violence against 'yellow vests'

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Scenes at a 'yellow vest' protest in Nantes in western France on February 16th 2019. © Reuters Scenes at a 'yellow vest' protest in Nantes in western France on February 16th 2019. © Reuters

The United Nations has followed the European Parliament in criticising the policing of some demonstrations staged by 'yellow vest' protestors in France. The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights condemned what she called the “excessive use of force” used by the police on some occasions. The criticism came after interior minister Christophe Castaner's terse response to opposition MP Loïc Prud’homme after the latter was hit with a baton during a yellow vest protest last Saturday March 2nd in Bordeaux. Carine Fouteau reports.

Up to 130 French jihadists could be repatriated from Syria

Interior minister reported as saying fighters of French origin could be repatriated from Syria as US forces withdraw from that country.

French government raises stakes on school security after pupil points 'gun' at teacher

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Interior minister Christophe Castaner, left, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and justice minister Nicole Belloubet. © @Twitter @jmblanquer Interior minister Christophe Castaner, left, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and justice minister Nicole Belloubet. © @Twitter @jmblanquer

A recent video showing a pupil pointing a pistol – later discovered to be fake - at his teacher in a school in France went viral. The government called an urgent meeting of senior ministers to work out a plan of action to tackle violence in France's schools, amid talk that the police might be asked to patrol in some establishments. Detailed policies are expected to be announced soon. But as Manuel Jardinaud and Faïza Zerouala report, this tough rhetoric, which recalls the days of Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency, has not gone down well with many teachers.

France considers putting police officers in classrooms

New plans are set to be announced by interior minister Christophe Castaner following a string of violent incidents in country's classrooms.

Macron party chief made interior minister in government reshuffle

A much-awaited French government reshuffle, finally prompted by the resignation of interior minister Gérard Collomb but which followed a string of political upsets for President Emmanuel Macron this summer, saw the appointments on Tuesday of five new ministers, including Macron's party boss and former socialist Christophe Castaner to replace Collomb, and a former conservative filling the departure of scandal-hit culture minister Françoise Nyssen. 

Former socialist appointed head of Macron party

Christophe Castaner, 51, who last year swapped political allegiance to join Emmanuel Macron's centrist bid for the French presidency has been appointed as head of the latter's fledgling political party in a move driven by the president and which has been criticised as ignoring traditional democratic party practices.

French police arrest far-right militants suspected of plotting attacks

Among potential targets were said to have been government spokesman Christophe Castaner and radical left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Socialists fear options after regional rout in SE France

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Election billboards in Nice. © ES Election billboards in Nice. © ES

France’s far-right Front National (FN) party is hoping to take control of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in nationwide regional elections played out today and next Sunday. The council of this south-east corner of France has been run for 17 years by the Socialist Party, which is now predicted to receive a drubbing. The main predicament facing the socialists after the first round is whether or not to withdraw their list of candidates for the benefit of the hard-right conservative candidate to defeat the FN. But, as Ellen Salvi reports from Nice, even collective political suicide may not be enough to stop the increasingly popular far-right.