Reports

  • 'Cold fury' mounts over racist attacks on Chinese population in Paris suburbs

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    Tributes at the scene of the assault on Chaolin Zhang in Aubervilliers. © AD Tributes at the scene of the assault on Chaolin Zhang in Aubervilliers. © AD

    The death earlier this month of a Chinese man after he was assaulted in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers has sparked furious protests from the local Chinese and South-East Asian populations, which are increasingly the target of gratuitous violence and robberies by gangs of youths fof other ethnic origins. The authorities and the media have largely ignored the racist attacks against the Chinese community, which has now begun to set up its own self-defence groups. Aurélie Delmas reports from Aubervilliers where the mayor warns of a powder-keg situation.

  • The challenges of EU mission to train Palestinian police

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    French CRS officers training Palestinian police. © Chloé Demoulin French CRS officers training Palestinian police. © Chloé Demoulin

    For the past ten years, a European Union-funded mission in the West Bank is training the Palestinian police in modern policing methods. With police instructors from EU member states, the EUPOL COPPS mission is aimed at building an effective police force ahead of the possible creation of a Palestinian state. But the challenges are vast, and the programme’s future is uncertain. Mediapart correspondent Chloé Demoulin reports from the West Bank mission, beginning with the unusual scene of a lesson by French riot police on how to disperse a peaceful sit-in.

  • Bastille Day massacre stokes Nice's bitter divisions

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    July 18th: tributes to the Bastille Day attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Reuters July 18th: tributes to the Bastille Day attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Reuters

    The Bastille Day attack in Nice, when a Tunisian immigrant from the city drove a truck into crowds walking the seafront Promenade des Anglais, killing 84 people, has heightened the already prevalent racial and social tensions in the Riviera capital. Ellen Salvi reports from Nice, where local politicians have long fuelled the fires of division that threaten to engulf the city.

  • At least 80 people feared dead in Nice Bastille Day attack

    Bodies of victims on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Reuters Bodies of victims on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. © Reuters

    French officials say at least 80 people  died after a heavy truck drove into crowds attending a traditional Bastille Day fireworks celebration in the Riviera city of Nice at around 10.30 p.m. local time. The driver of the truck, who was reportedly later shot dead by police, then began firing shots into the crowd according to several media reports. Local media said the driver was a 31-year-old Nice resident of joint French-Tunisian nationality. French President François Hollande announced in the early hours of Friday that the state of emergency powers introduced after the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris last year, and due to end later this month, will be extended for a further three months. Graham Tearse reports.

  • Blockades are a 'weapon to make people aware' say French labour law protesters

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    The protest against the labour law reforms held in Montpellier on May 26th, 2016. © T.A The protest against the labour law reforms held in Montpellier on May 26th, 2016. © T.A

    Amid blockades of oil depots and strikes in a number of key sectors in France, opponents against planned labour law reforms in France took to the streets again on Thursday May 26th. Mediapart spoke to people taking part in a march in the city of Montpellier, in the south of France, to find out why they are protesting. The demonstrators say they fully back the strikes and blockades which they see as their equivalent of article 49-3 of the French Constitution which is being used to force the deeply-controversial reforms through Parliament. Timothée Aldebert reports.

  • French businessman tells court he gave Benjamin Netanyahu one million euros

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    Arnaud Mimran and Benjamin Netanyahu at Monaco in 2003. © DR Arnaud Mimran and Benjamin Netanyahu at Monaco in 2003. © DR

    Arnaud Mimran, a French businessman on trial in Paris for his alleged role in a massive carbon trading VAT scam, has confirmed his financial links with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under cross-examination on Thursday May 19th, Mimran, who is also under investigation in a separate case of kidnapping and sequestration, said he had given Netanyahu one million euros. Mediapart understands the payment dates back to 2001. The Israeli premier has denied he received such a sum. Michel Deléan reports.

  • The French mayor back in court for halting evictions of the poor

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    Almost a third of the 60,000 population of Vénissieux, close to France’s second-largest city Lyon, in south-east France, live under the poverty line. Every year, its mayor, Michèle Picard, signs municipal decrees to prevent the ordered evictions of dozens of families from their homes, and the cutting off of water and energy supplies to hundreds of others. The decrees are just as regularly challenged in court by the local state authorities of the prefecture, which habitually find favour from the presiding magistrates. This week Picard was back in court to defend her case, just as a new series of evictions get underway. Michaël Hajdenberg reports.

  • The true lives of those hidden behind France's jobless figures

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    Roselyne et Pascal © MG/MP Roselyne et Pascal © MG/MP

    Massaging unemployment figures has become a preoccupation for France’s socialist government, as the rising numbers of jobless threaten to put the final nail in President François Hollande’s political coffin ahead of presidential elections next year. The figures are presented in three categories, A, B and C, ranging from those without any professional activity – the official unemployed - to those who have partial jobs. But there are few differences between either section, all facing a desperate daily search for a proper job and liveable income, as illustrated in these four interviews by Mathilde Goanec.

  • A night with Nuit Debout, France's novel protest movement

    Since March 31st, an increasing series of nocturnal sit-ins have taken over town and city centres around France. Called Nuit Debout, (roughly meaning ‘Standing Up Night’), they are gatherings of people of all ages who are dismayed by the political scene in France. They hold debates, spontaneous discussions, break out in song, swap books, eat together and hold occasional demonstrations. There is no official aim, and there are no official leaders, and no-one knows where it will all end. The movement began on the Place de la République in central Paris, in the aftermath of a demonstration against the government’s proposed labour law reform. Christophe Gueugneau and Michaël Hajdenberg joined the sit-in there this weekend.

  • France's other green protest: against Center Parcs

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    The home of protesters who are trying to stop a Center Parcs holiday centre from being built. The home of protesters who are trying to stop a Center Parcs holiday centre from being built.

    The protesters who have occupied the proposed site for a new airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes near Nantes in west France have grabbed media attention in recent years. Less well-known are the environmental activists who have set up a similar camp in an ancient forest on the other side of the country in a bid to stop the development of a new Center Parcs holiday centre. As Jade Lindgaard reports, unlike their anti-airport counterparts, the protesters opposing the Center Parcs project are from being universally popular with locals.