Border policing practices slammed after drowning of Nigerian woman in French Alps

France — Report

Earlier this month the body of a 20-year-old Nigerian woman was found floating in the river Durance, in the foothills of the French Alps. Blessing Matthew had crossed illegally into France from Italy along a treacherous route of mountain passes increasingly used by desperate migrants. From witness accounts, it appears likely that Blessing drowned in the icy waters of the Durance while attempting to escape from one of the frequent border patrols which local migrant support groups say employ dangerously heavy-handed methods. One week later, the body of a man believed to be a migrant was found on a nearby mountainside. Mathilde Mathieu reports from the Alpine region where it is feared the springtime thaw may reveal yet more fatalities.

Celebrated French jazz violinist Didier Lockwood dies aged 62

France — Link

Didier Lockwood, whose talent was first discovered by the late Stephane Grappelli and who established a worldwide reputation over four decades as a jazz violinist, and who was dedicated to developing music teaching, creating a school of musical improvisation near Paris, has died of a heart attack just hours after performing at a jazz venue in the French capital.

Man dies after falling from roof of Paris metro train

France — Link

A 21-year-old man has died after falling from the roof of a moving metro train in Paris, apparently trying to avoid colliding with a bridge, in what police suspect was a 'train surfing' stunt.

Pierre Bergé, YSL fashion house co-founder, dies aged 86

France — Link

Pierre Bergé, the personal and business partner of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, who was an outspoken campaigner for gay rights and Aids research, active in the world of the arts and the media, and who was latterly suffering from myoptahy, died in Provence early on Friday.    

French food critic Christian Millau dies aged 88

France — Link

The death this weekend of Christian Dubois-Millot, the celebrated culinary journalist known as Christian Millau, who in 1969 launched the influential Gault & Millau restaurant guide with his late colleague Henri Gault, and who championed the development of 'nouvelle cuisine', a lighter and more health-conscious approach to preparing food than in traditional restaurant dishes of the past, was announced on Monday.

West bows to China with lip service over death of rights activist Liu Xiaobo


The death on July 13th of imprisoned Chinese human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo has highlighted the reticence of Western nations to clearly denounce the fierce repression meted out by the Chinese authorities against pro-democracy campaigners. Mediapart’s Beijing correspondent Elodie Goulesque reports on how rights issues have fallen off the agenda of the international community in face of China’s rise to the rank of the world’s second superpower.

Matador dies after bull goring in southern France

International — Link

Spanish bullfighter Ivan Fandino, 36, caught his feet in his cloak and fell to the floor, where he was gored by the bull during the Aire-sur-l'Adour bullfighting festival near Pau.

Posthumous message by French jihadist in Iraq criticises IS chiefs

International — Link

Rachid Kassim, who US and French authorities have said was killed in an air strike on Islamic State group positions near the beseiged city of Mosul last week, and who was suspected of coordinating terorist attacks in France, left an audi recording critical of the group's leadership for not taking part in front-line actions.

One dead, four injured in safety drill on world's largest cruise ship

France — Link

A lifeboat with five crew members in it fell from the Harmony of the Seas, while docked in Marseille, reportedly tumbling 10 metres from the ship's fifth deck.

British mother arrested after baby found dead in France

France — Link

Woman in her 30s on holiday in south-west France arrested after baby's father reported death and doctor declared it was not from natural causes.

French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel dies aged 86

France — Link

Rykiel,who died of complications from Parkinson's disease, found success with clothes designed for women 'on the go' and unlike many designers was also a writer.

Violent protests near Paris over death of black man in police van

France — Link

Cars were torched and public buildings attacked in a second night of violence in Paris suburb after 24-year-old died during transportation to gendarmerie station.

Veteran French cartoonist Siné dies aged 87

France — Link

The former Charlie Hebdo contributor, who set up his own satyrical magazine after he was fired for alleged anti-Semitism, was suffering from cancer.

Disneyland Paris employee found dead in park's haunted house attraction

France — Link

Prosecutor's office said the 45-year-old was working on a backstage lighting system in the Phantom Manor where his body was found on Saturday.

French infant dies 'after choking on toy in Kinder Surprise egg'

France — Link

An autopsy confirmed death from mechanical asphyxiation after the girl, 3, reportedly swallowed a small plastic wheel toy hidden inside the egg.