A match at the Les Hijabeuses tournament at La Courneuve, north of Paris. © MC / Mediapart
Wearing a headscarf or hijab during a football match is authorised by the sport's world governing body FIFA. But they remained banned for official games in France. A group of Muslim women players are fighting against this discriminatory policy and are calling on the French football authorities, the Fédération Française de Football (FFF), to change their rules. As part of that battle the group, known as Les Hijabeuses, organised a football tournament on the outskirts of Paris. Mickaël Correia reports.
Nicolas Sarkozy at the court in Paris, June 15th 2021. © Christophe Archambault/AFP
The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy appeared in court for the first time yesterday, June 15th, for the trial in which he and 13 others face charges over the massive overspend during his failed presidential election campaign in 2012. The ex-head of state conceded some responsibility in the way his campaign was conducted. But, showing clear signs of irritation, Nicolas Sarkozy strongly denied that he had committed any financial irregularities himself. And instead he pointed the finger at supporters of Jean-François Copé, who at the time was head of Sarkozy's political party the UMP. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan was in court in Paris to hear the former president give evidence.
A tag in Cargèse in memory of Massimu Susini, shot dead in 2019. © HC
The French Mediterranean island of Corsica, known as “the island of beauty” for its stunning scenery, coastlines and wildlife, is also known for its clans and underworld gangs, and a murder rate well above the average in mainland France. Hélène Constanty reports from the Corsican village of Cargèse, where a string of killings has raised fears of a spiralling blood feud, and where a local collective is standing up to organised crime.
Gwénaël Floch sur son exploitation. © Amélie Poinssot / Mediapart
Gwénaël Floch runs a small but productive organic farm in Brittany, north-west France. He pays himself, like his employees, the minimum legal wage, while he also has bank loans to repay on initial investment in the business. He receives little more than 300 euros per year from the EU’s annual 58-billion-euro Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies, supposedly promoting organic agriculture, and which will be even less after the introduction of the new CAP in 2023. That is when organic small farms in France will lose the aid, however small, they are currently entitled to, and which prompted farmers to protest in Paris earlier this month. Amélie Poinssot reports from Brittany.
The number of Covid cases found in French schools, week by week.
There has been exponential growth in the number of Covid-19 cases in French schools, both among pupils and staff, and some teaching personnel have become seriously ill as a result. Though the education minister has just announced a further toughening of the health protocols to tackle the virus in schools, some teachers fear the ministry is still “in denial” over the scale of the problem they are facing. One teaching union is now calling on members to take strike action. Ismaël Bine and Caroline Coq-Chodorge report.
Anti-coup protestors gather in a mass demonstration in the centre of Yangon, February 12th 2021. © Collectif The Myanmar Project
The civilian protest movement in Myanmar against the military coup of February 1st continued on Monday, when a general strike was held and hundreds of thousands again took to the streets of major towns and cities, including the capital Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay, despite the junta's warnings against a “confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life”. A group of young journalists in Myanmar, a collective called The Myanmar Project, have spent the past three weeks documenting the unfolding events across the country. Here, under cover of anonymity, they tell Laure Siegel what motivated them and how they go about their reporting.
Two women lay flowers at the Pôle Emploi branch in Valence on January 29th 2021, a day after the murder of a supervisor there. © PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP
On Thursday January 28th a supervisor at a Pôle Emploi employment centre in south-east France was shot dead, sending a shock wave of alarm through all branches of the government agency. Staff had already seen growing violence and tension in their branches from disgruntled job seekers, a discontent that has been further fuelled by the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on the economy. As Cécile Hautefeuille found out, fear among job centre staff is now rapidly turning to anger.
Robert, aged 86, and nurse Naura Touaimia on board the Vacci’bus in a village near Reims. © CA
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.
Migrants aboard the Ocean Viking celebrate the news after permission was granted to dock in Italy. © NB
The Ocean Viking, flagship of the French-based maritime humanitarian organisation SOS Méditerranée, was allowed to dock in Sicily on Monday after rescuing 374 migrants attempting, in overcrowded rubber dinghies, the hazardous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Europe. It was the first time the ship had been on a search and rescue operation since it was blocked for five months last year in an Italian port. Mediapart’s Nejma Brahim was aboard the Ocean Viking for its two-week sortie, and reports on the tense last moments of its mission as it battled heavy seas between Malta and Sicily.
© Fanny Monier
As 2020 draws to a close amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic, Mediapart knocked on the doors of the inhabitants of an apartment block in the town of Meaux, east of Paris, to ask them about their experiences living through a year unlike any other. The lurking threat of the virus was of course a constant angst, but for many, it is the social and economic consequences that have marked them, and which leave them fearful for the future. Mathilde Goanec reports (illustrations by Fanny Monier).