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The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, is facing a second wave of strikes and protests over his proposals to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

The strike, which has affected schools, public transportation, and oil refineries, is being participated in by eight major unions.  Hundreds of thousands of people are participating in marches around France after the first day of protests drew more than a million participants.

There have been more people in several cities than on January 19. Despite polls showing that two-thirds of French oppose the reforms, which start their journey through the National Assembly next week, the Macron administration is moving on with them.

Without a majority in the legislature, the administration will be forced to rely on the right-wing Republicans just as much as its own legislators from the ruling parties.

Thousands more marchers gathered in Toulouse, Marseille, and Nice in the south, Saint Nazaire, Nantes, and Rennes in the west, hours before the main demonstration in downtown Paris’ Place d’Italie. An estimated 11,000 police officers were stationed to monitor the protests occurring in 200 towns and cities.

Only two of Paris’s driverless metro lines were operating normally, and only one in three high-speed trains were operating. On one of the main overground lines in the capital, there were reportedly large crowds.

The CGT union said at least three-quarters of workers had walked out at the big TotalEnergies oil refineries and fuel depots, although the company said the number was far lower. Power plants reported reduced production after workers went on strike at the main electricity company EDF.

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France’s first lady, Brigitte Macron, has stated that she thinks requiring kids to wear uniforms could help address social inequalities among French students.  She claimed that by not purchasing branded clothing, students would also save time getting dressed and money.

She made these remarks as the National Assembly of France was debating a law that, if it were to succeed, would require uniforms in public schools.  Pap Ndiaye, the minister of education, declared he would oppose the proposal.

Previously, Ms. Macron worked as a teacher in a school in northern France. The bill’s sponsor, French far-right National Rally member Roger Chudeau, wants all public schools to have branded uniforms.

His suggestion is that a uniform may eliminate the social divides between pupils that can be exacerbated by apparel. However, it also asserts that a mandatory uniform might stop the introduction of religious or ethnic dress in classrooms.

In a tweet, Mr. Chudeau thanked Ms. Macron for supporting his school uniforms bill and asserted that France’s secular education system was coming under increasing attack. He added: “Let’s hope MPs will vote in favour of this legislation approved by two-thirds of French people.”

The first lady was criticised by left-leaning MPs for endorsing the “backward-looking proposal” of the extreme right.

The education minister, however, asserted that he disagreed with the idea of legal uniform requirements. Instead, he asserted that individual institutions could decide to impose uniform requirements.

In France, public schools are free and open to all students, whereas private schools charge tuition, are frequently selective, and may impose uniform requirements on their students.

Smocks were typically worn at school until the 1960s in order to protect children’s clothing from ink stains. When ballpoint pens were introduced, they were gradually phased out.

However, schools in the French Caribbean regions of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana, as well as a few military high schools, continue to require uniforms.

Ms. Macron has been outspoken about the need to end cyberbullying and online bullying, and one of her videos urging immediate action on the issue will start a meeting of the Unesco in 2021.

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The Adelboden resort in Switzerland has been holding its breath as temperatures touched a record high of 20C on January 1st, the hottest recorded north of the Alps.  The normal snowy slopes were actually dirt and grass, raising concerns about whether the ski World Cup would go place the following weekend.

It was warm even at 2,000 metres (6,500 feet), which is above freezing. In the end, it was decided to use the renowned Chuenisbärgli piste for the major slalom competitions.

It required an army of snow cannons and a little drop in temperature at the top of the run to make it happen. However, they will be skiing on synthetic snow when the best male skiers in the world sprint across the finish line.

The start of the ski season has been seriously hampered by the extremely warm and rainy weather across the Alps.

It’s called a snow scarcity or Schneemangel in German. Additionally, there is a term for when there is an abundance of snow: das Weisse Gold, or white gold. It serves as a reminder of how many mountain communities rely on winter sports for their economic survival. They are being forced to reconsider in January.

The ski resorts near Salzburg last received snow in Austria a month ago. Due to a lack of water to feed them, the snow cannon at Chamonix, France, are not in service. Some resorts in Switzerland have even begun to expose their summer bicycle routes in lieu of attempting to offer winter sports. Others have simply stopped operating their ski lifts.

Experts on climate suggest that we shouldn’t be shocked by the weather this January. Winters will get warmer and wetter due to global warming, they have long predicted. The rate at which ski resorts lose their viability, however, appears to be increasing, much like the Alpine glaciers’ diminishing.

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As a result of Friday’s horrific attack on the city’s Kurdish community, violence has erupted in central Paris. In addition to throwing objects at police, protesters tipped over automobiles and lit some on fire. Tear gas was used in response by the police.

The attack on Friday, which happened at a restaurant and a centre for Kurdish culture, claimed the lives of three individuals. According to a police source who spoke to AFP, the 69-year-old white male suspect claimed later that he was a bigot who detested foreigners.

The same news organisation was informed that the man used a “much-used” pistol to carry out his attack and was discovered with “two or three” loaded magazines and a box containing at least 25 ammunition. Shortly after the shootings, unrest erupted. Video captured individuals setting fires in the middle of the road and breaking car windows.

As demonstrators attempted to breach a security perimeter, police fired tear gas.

After hundreds of Kurds quietly gathered in the Place de la République to honour the three victims, Saturday’s new violence broke out.

The retired train driver is still being questioned by the police. He is currently facing an additional charge of acting with a racist motive in addition to being detained on suspicion of murder and an attempted murder.

He has a history of weapons offences, and it has come to light that the assault occurred just days after his recent release on bail.

He was accused with racist violence last year after a sword attack in another migrant camp in the French capital.

Witnesses of Friday’s shootings in the city’s 10th district said the attacker – tall, white and elderly – shot dead two men and a woman.

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Three individuals were killed and three others were injured when a shooter opened fire in the heart of Paris. Witnesses claimed that the attacker specifically targeted a restaurant and community centre for Kurds, and authorities stated they would check into any potential racial motivation.

A 69-year-old suspect was detained right away, and it immediately became clear that he had recently been released from prison. Authorities urged people to stay away from Strasbourg-Saint Denis in Paris’s 10th arrondissement.

The shooting’s cause has not been established, however Paris Prosecutor Laure Beccuau has revealed that the suspect has a history of racial violence charges.

On December 8, 2021, near Bercy, a man brandished a sword and attacked tents at a Parisian migrant camp. He had only lately been released, although it was unclear why.

The suspect was also hurt in the shooting, according to the local mayor Alexandra Cordebard, and three locations were targeted: a restaurant, a hair salon, and a Kurdish cultural centre. In the salon, there were two shootings.

Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, claimed that a “far-right activist” was responsible for the killings. She added: “Kurds wherever they reside must be able to live in peace and security. In these difficult times, Paris stands on their side more than ever.”

“We were walking in the street and heard gunshots,” a witness, Ali Dalek, told the BBC. “We turned around and saw people running left and right.

“And then, five or six minutes later, because we know people who work at the hair salon, we went in and we saw that they had arrested a guy – an old man, elderly, tall.”

Without encountering any resistance, police apprehended the man and reportedly found the attack’s weapon. Authorities declared that they had started a murder inquiry. Ms. Hidalgo commended the police for taking prompt action.

Nearly ten years had passed since the January 2013 murder of three Kurdish women in Paris when the attack occurred.

Along with a number of eateries and stores, the cultural centre is located on the street next to the Château d’Eau metro station. It was a very active location, according to Ms. Cordebard.

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In Montpellier, a southern French city, a 14-year-old kid was run over and killed shortly after France defeated Morocco in the World Cup semi-final.  After the match, according to the authorities, he was hit by a car and later died in the hospital.

Images shared on social media showed an automobile covered in a French tricolour, which was later seized by onlookers.  The driver then accelerated into two youngsters, perhaps in a hurry. The 14-year-old was struck and suffered a cardiac attack as the driver turned around and sped away.

“Immense sadness that a sporting event should end in total tragedy,” said local MP Nathalie Oziol, who expressed her sympathy with the boy’s family.

The automobile was later discovered abandoned not far from the scene of the collision, according to the local prefect in the southern Hérault region, and police have started looking for the driver. Everyone was horrified and in disbelief over “this awful tragedy,” according to Mayor Michal Delafosse, who also prayed that those responsible for “this vile act” would face justice.

According to local MP Patrick Vignal, the motorist needed to be apprehended and punished harshly.  Around 30 minutes after the final horn in Qatar, when France defeated Morocco 2-0, the incident took place in Montpellier’s La Paillade neighbourhood.

As flares were fired and police used tear gas in response, tensions between France and Morocco supporters briefly erupted in the city centre. A Moroccan community of about 1.5 million individuals exists in France.

While police deployed tear gas to quell unrest among far-right youngsters in Lyon’s centre, celebrations in other French cities were mainly peaceful. Ten thousand police officers were stationed all around the nation, and 167 arrests were reportedly made.

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An Iranian guy who spent 18 years residing in a Paris airport has passed away. Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who was in a precarious diplomatic situation, moved into a small part of the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in 1988.

His story served as the basis for the Tom Hanks-starring 2004 movie The Terminal. After receiving permission to reside in France, Mr. Nasseri returned there a few weeks ago, when he passed away of natural causes, an airport official told AFP.

Mr. Nasseri, who was born in the Iranian province of Khuzestan in 1945, first took a flight to Europe in order to find his mother.

After being ejected from nations such as the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany for not possessing the proper immigration documents, he spent a while residing in Belgium. He subsequently travelled to France and settled down in the 2F Terminal of the airport.

He spent his days writing about his life in a notebook and reading books and newspapers while curled up on his bench, surrounded by trolleys filled with the things he had accumulated.

The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones, was directed by Stephen Spielberg after his story gained the attention of the world’s media.

Journalists went to interview the man who served as the inspiration for a Hollywood blockbuster after the movie’s premiere. According to Le Parisien, Mr. Nazzeri, who went by the name “Sir Alfred,” once conducted up to six interviews every day.

He was given refugee status and the ability to stay in France in 1999, but he remained there until 2006, when he was transferred to the hospital for medical treatment. Using the money he had been paid for the movie, he then lived in a hostel, according to the French newspaper Libération.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Nasseri returned to the airport, where he resided until his passing, according to an airport representative.

The officer stated that he was caught in possession of several thousand euros.

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One of the eleven current or former bishops charged with sexual assault is French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, according to the Church.

The cardinal issued a statement in which he admitted to abusing a 14-year-old girl while serving as a parish priest 35 years prior and announced his decision to step down from his duties.

A panel discovered evidence of thousands of paedophiles working for decades within the French Catholic Church a year ago.

Each of the 11 accused will either be prosecuted or subject to church discipline.

The most recent information was made public during a conference of French bishops held in Lourdes, in southwest France.

Among the 11, according to Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, was Michel Santier, a former bishop of Créteil who resigned last year following allegations of sexual abuse dating back two decades.

He read aloud a letter from Cardinal Ricard in which he admitted to acting “reprehensibly” with a 14-year-old girl and that his actions had unavoidably resulted in serious and long-lasting effects for her.

The 78-year-old cardinal claimed he had begged her forgiveness and expressed regret to those he had offended during his 18 years as bishop of Bordeaux. He is now retired. In addition to expressing condolences to the victim, the current bishop, Jean-Paul James, reissued his call for anyone who has experienced abuse in the diocese to come forward.

In addition to the cardinal and Michel Santier, the conference’s leader stated that six other bishops had faced accusations from either the Church or the Judiciary, and one of them had already passed away.

The Roman Catholic Church has been shaken by charges of sexual abuse in numerous nations, including France. Pope Francis modified the Church’s regulations last year to establish crimes under Vatican law for sexual abuse, luring children for sex, owning child pornography, and covering up abuse.

The Pope stated that the Church of France has once again been overwhelmed by the excesses committed by some of its pastors in a communication sent before of the autumn bishops’ conference in Lourdes.

The purpose of the conference was to discuss ways to increase openness and communication in cases of clergy abuse.

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The National Assembly of France has given a far-right MP a 15-day suspension for yelling “they should go back to Africa” while a black colleague discussed immigration. National Rally’s Grégoire de Fournas claimed that his remark was not directed at Carlos Martens Bilongo but rather at migrants sailing to Europe.

Since he was born in France, Mr. Bilongo called the comment “shameful.” On Friday, the MPs decided to suspend him and take away half of his allowance. The ruling is referred to as the Assembly’s heaviest censure.

Mr. Bilongo had been pressing the authorities over SOS Méditerranée’s plea for assistance in locating a port for 234 migrants who had recently been saved at sea.

Since the National Rally MP could have been referring to more than one person, the precise meaning of his statement is questioned. Qu’il retourne en Afrique, which is how the official account of the session described his off-microphone comment, sounds exactly the same in the plural Qu’ils retournent en Afrique.

The Speaker, Yal Braun-Pivet, asked to know who had spoken after Mr. de Fournas made his remark. She then declared that “This is not conceivable” and called for the session to be suspended as the MPs screamed “Out! Out! Out!”

A member of parliament for France Unbowed (LFI), Mr. Bilongo said: “My skin tone has come up again today. I am a French MP and I was born there.” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said there was “no room for racism” and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said the MP should resign.

Mr de Fournas was adamant he had been referring to the “boat transporting migrants to Europe”, and party leader Marine Le Pen accused her political opponents of fabricating a vulgar outcry.

He later apologised to Mr Bilongo for “the misunderstanding” his comments had caused and if he had been hurt by them.

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In response to mounting energy strain, France has delivered gas to Germany for the first time in an act of “European solidarity.” The pipeline-delivered gas is a component of a pact between the nations to reduce energy shortages following Russian shutoff of the taps to Europe.

Despite providing less than 2% of Germany’s daily demands, the increased flow is appreciated as Berlin fights to diversify its energy sources. Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been charged with exploiting gas supplies as a weapon against the West.

The French grid operator GRTgaz announced that it would initially supply 31 gigawatt hours (GWh) per day via a pipeline from the village of Obergailbach on the country’s border.The additional gas flow has a 100 GWh daily maximum capacity, it was added in a statement. 

In the energy solidarity agreement last month, Germany committed to aid France with gas supplies in exchange for Germany agreeing to supply additional electricity to France as needed.

“We would have significant problems right now if we didn’t have European unity and an integrated, united market,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday. Russia shutting off the gas is less of an issue for France because most of its energy requirements are met by Norway and through supply of liquefied natural gas.

Gas prices increased as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, and this winter EU customers will pay record prices.

Germany had previously gotten 55% of its gas from Russia. It has decreased this to 35% and eventually wants to stop all imports.

Despite the detrimental effects on the environment, Germany is also increasing its usage of coal and prolonging the life of power plants that were scheduled to close.

During her 16 years in office, former German chancellor Angela Merkel claimed she did not regret relying on Russia as a significant gas provider.

This winter, the German government plans to reduce the consumption of lighting and heating in public buildings by 2%.

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