Russian soldier who spoke of Ukraine 'chaos' seeks asylum in France

International — Link

Russian paratrooper Pavel Filatiev, 34, who took part in the invasion of Ukraine, last weekend requested asylum in France after fleeing his regiment in face of what he said were threats of years in prison for having denounced the war and the poor state of Russia's military.

French MEPs call for action over UK raw sewage spills into Channel

International — Link

Three French Members of the European Parliament, all from President Macron's party, have published a joint letter to the European Commission calling for action over recent incidents in Britain of raw sewage spills into the Channel and North Sea which they said 'seriously' endangers public health and the marine environment in France.

Mali accuses France of arming jihadists

International — Link

A letter from Mali’s Foreign Ministry to the United Nations Security Council alleges that France supported jihadists within the country and committed airspace violations. 

Drought in France leaves municipalities short of drinking water

France — Link

Successive heatwaves and months of exceptionally little rainfall in France have led to more than one hundred municipalities running out of drinking water, while the drought threatens to significantly reduce crop yields.

Record daily number of migrants cross Channel to UK

International — Link

Close to 700 people in small boats were recorded on Monday to have clandestinely crossed the Channel to England from France, while the French authorities intercepted two boats carrying 70 people attempting the same journey.

Macron’s rehabilitation of the “murderous prince”

International — Analysis

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Paris on Thursday for talks with President Emmanuel Macron who later hosted him for dinner at the Élysée Palace, amid outrage from rights activists. In exchange for staging the prince’s comeback on the international diplomatic scene, four years after the murder of Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, Macron was hoping to obtain a substantial rise in Saudi oil production. But, as René Backmann writes in this analysis of Macron’s dealings with “MBS”, the move may well prove to benefit only he who Amnesty International secretary general Agnès Callamard has dubbed “the murderous prince”.   

French exhibitions mark 60th anniversary of Algerian independence

France — Link

Several exhibitions, notably in Paris and Marseille, are marking the 60th anniversary of Algeria's independence, the result of a bloody, eight-year war against colonial rule by France, with exhibits that include photo journalism and art.

French minister presents 20bln-euro plan to ease inflation crisis

France — Link

French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire has announced a series of measures costing 20 billion euros which will target certain sections of the population to ease the growing cost-of-living crisis, as inflation in France rose to 6.5% in June. 

Australia to pay France 555m euros in settlement of subs row

France — Link

French defence minister Sebastien Lecornu said the settlement 'permits us to turn a page' on the diplomatic row over Australia's decision last year to cancel its purchase of French diesel-powered submarines, worth a total of 35 billion euros, in favour of a strategic pact with the US and UK in which it will receive technology to build nuclear submarines.

General Electric’s scheme to avoid millions of euros in taxes in France

France — Investigation

Following its purchase in 2015 of the power branch of French engineering firm Alstom, General Electric put in place a vast tax avoidance scheme involving subsidiaries in Switzerland and the US state of Delaware to syphon off hundreds of millions of euros that would otherwise have been subject to taxes in France, according to an investigation by Mediapart’s online partner newsroom Disclose. What’s more, the scheme appears to have had the blessing of the French economy and finance ministry.

Anti-French protests in West Africa spill over into Chad

International — Report

Anti-French sentiment is gaining ground across a number of West African countries, where the presence of the former colonial power, engaged in fighting armed jihadist insurgents across the Sahel, is challenged by growing Russian influence and popular anger against its history of support for strongman regimes. Protests against France’s military presence in the region have now spilled over into Chad, France’s key African ally, governed by a junta, where last month French nationals were targeted in the capital N’Djamena and petrol stations belonging to oil giant Total were ransacked. Rémi Carayol reports.

French cereal production under threat from growing drought

France — Link

Low winter rainfall followed by continuing dry and unusually hot conditions in many parts of France, the biggest grain producer in the European Union, is threatening to significantly reduce the volume of winter cereal production.

France faces entering period of stagflation

France — Link

Household spending in France fell by 1.3% in March, capping a first trimester that saw gross domestic product reaching a standstill, raising fears that the country may be on the verge of a period of 'stagflation' – a term designating a combination of stagnant or weak economic growth and enduring high inflation.

Acclaimed French actor Michel Bouquet dies aged 96

France — Link

A star of stage and screen in a career that spanned seven decades and more than 100 films, widely recognised as being one of France's finest actors, Michel Bouquet has died in Paris at the age of 96.

Paris schools prepare to take in refugee children from Ukraine

France — Link

Amid increasing numbers of refugees arriving in France from war-ravaged Ukraine, the municipal authorities in Paris have set up special provisions for integrating Ukranian children into the city's schools.