Mahamat Mahdi Ali: the Chad rebel leader targeted by France

International — Investigation

The veteran Chad leader Idriss Déby Itno, a close ally of France for many years, died in April, reportedly after being wounded on the battlefield fighting against an armed rebel group in the country. That group is the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), led by a man called Mahamat Mahdi Ali. The rebel leader has close links with France; he spent part of his life here and his family still lives in Reims, north east of Paris. He was also a member of the Socialist Party before he says he was “betrayed” by his former comrades when they were in government; he was subject to financial sanctions from the authorities in Paris over what he says are unfounded claims of links to terrorist groups. Some observers see the targeting of Mahamat Mahdi Ali as a favour by the authorities in Paris to the Déby regime, which has been a stalwart supporter of France's anti-terrorism strategy in the region. Rémi Carayol reports.

French photojournalist in coma after youth gang attack

France — Link

Christian Lantenois, 65, was assaulted in a car park in the north-eastern city of Reims while working for L'Union newspaper.

On board the vaccine bus in rural France

France — Report

If you cannot come to the vaccine, then the vaccine will come to you. That is the idea behind the 'Vacci'bus' which is visiting parts of rural France at the moment to vaccinate older people in isolated villages against Covid-19. Mediapart went on board a bus servicing the area around Reims where the idea first began, and met some of the residents of these remote communities north-east of Paris. The elderly inhabitants were delighted to be on the bus and receiving their vaccination. But they also revealed what they have been enduring in their village homes during the long months of the epidemic. “We're alone, afraid and we don't see anyone,” one woman said. Cécile Andrzejewski reports.

Family divided as French medics end life of man in vegetative state

France — Link

A French hospital has begun the process of ending life support for Vincent Lambert, 42, who suffered severe brain damage after a traffic accident in 2008, with the agreement of his wife and several siblings but to the dismay of his parents who have fought a lengthy but unsuccessful legal battle against the decision.

The MP out on the frontline as disenchantment over Macron's presidency grows

France — Report

Aina Kuric is a Member of Parliament for France's ruling La République en Marche party east of Paris and last week she held meetings with members of local volunteer groups, small-town mayors and councillors just as the “gilets jaunes” or yellow hi-vis jacket protests over fuel prices swept across France. In doing so she experienced at first hand the deep divide that is growing between the government and a section of the population increasingly gripped by despair. Mediapart's Manuel Jardinaud joined the MP on the trip to meet her constituents.

French couple die in US desert, nine-year-old son rescued

France — Link

Parents died in high temperatures while trekking in New Mexico's White Sands National Monument but son saved by park rangers.

Bikini attack in France had nothing to do with Islam, police confirm

France — Link

Police now describe the incident in a park at Reims in northern France as a fight between two rival girl gangs with no religious overtones.

Woman wearing bikini in a French park beaten up by gang of girls

France — Link

The woman, 21, was sunbathing in a public park in Reims when a group of girls attacked her reportedly after a row over her simple clothing. 

Paris attacks gunman Saïd Kouachi secretly buried in unmarked grave

France — Link

The gunman, who with his brother perpetrated the January 7th massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices, was buried in Reims, where he lived.

At least two dead in explosion in block of flats in Reims

France — Link

At least two people died and another ten were injured when the blast, reportedly caused by a gas leak, partly destroyed the building in Reims.