The French government has appointed a French art historian and a Senegalese scholar to lead a feasibility study into an initiative by President Emmanuel Macron to return African cultural artefacts currently held by museums in France, a move that one French historian said will 'make European curators quake in their boots'.
A so-called 'tidal wave' of nationwide street demonstrations called for by radical-left party 'France Unbowed' together with one of the country's biggest trade unions, the CGT, and dozens of left-leaning associations on Saturday in protest at French President Emmanuel Macron's public sector reforms and tax breaks for the wealthy drew fewer numbers than hoped for, with the largest march, in Paris, numbering an estimated 32,000 people according to independent estimates, 5,000 less than a similar demonstration on May 5th.
French unemployment rate edged up to 9.2% in the first quarter of the year, up from 9% in the last quarter of 2017, with analysts pointing to a possible economic slowdown setting in across Europe.
France's civil aviation authority has warned of significant disruption to flights during a strike from Monday evening to Wednesday morning by French air-traffic controllers in support of demands for increased pay and staff numbers, part of a series of public sector strikes called for Tuesday.
Decision to ban Titanium dioxide, used mainly as a whitening and brightening agent in foods, comes after studies suggested it may cause cancer.
'Hacktivism', 'fashionista', 'SUV' and 'dark net' have all been added to France's two main dictionaries but there has been little or no uproar.
Since January, three seals have been found dead on the Côte d'Opale, and an animal conservation group is offering reward for information.
The French government has reacted angrily to US President Donald Trump's decision, after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, to re-impose sanctions on companies that do business with Tehran and which include Airbus, French carmakers Renault and PSA, and oil giant Total.
Russian spies in France are trying to recruit business people, diplomats and military personnel, using resources and methods similar to those used at the height of the Cold War. French counter-intelligence officials are meanwhile working hard to unmask the Russian agents. Though Russia and France are co-operating over antiterrorism issues, their respective intelligence agents are engaged in a parallel, largely hidden struggle, with French soil as the battleground. Matthieu Suc and Jacques Massey report.
But Australia academics say the president's motivations have more to do with French politics and that France is 'fairly peripheral' to region.
Despite unrest from students, rail and airline workers, union are staging separate rallies in France to mark International Workers Day.
The French presidency confirmed on Monday that a procedure has begun to strip Bashar al-Assad of his Légion d'honneur award, France's highest honour for actions of civil merit, given to him in 2001 by France's then-president Jacques Chirac.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday that the air strikes by the US, France and Britain on Syrian targets overnight were 'proportionate and targeted' and warned that they would be repeated if the Damascus regime used chemical weapons in the future, but also insisted that France will pursue diplomatic channels to help reach an end to the Syrian civil war.
France has joined the US and Britain in attacks overnight Friday against sites in Syria identified as production plants for chemical weapons, in response to a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma last week.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman concluded a three-day official vist to France on Tuesday, when a series of draft deals were signed with French companies for petro-chemical, agriciultural, waste treatment, healthcare, tourism and cultural projects worth a total of 14.58 billion euros, which are expected to be finalised during a visit to the Saudi kingdom later this year by President Emmanuel Macron.