"You have here a country which loves your country but also admires the transformation you are carrying out," Macron told Abiy at a press conference in Paris. Macron offered "all my support and that of France" in reforming Ethiopia and "in calming domestic tensions" and he will visit Ethiopia in March. Abiy, 42, was on his first European trip since taking office in April. French officials signed a string of cooperation deals with their counterparts from Africa's second most populous nation, in areas rincluding transport, energy and culture. Macron and Abiy also pledged to increase cultural cooperation, especially on World Heritage sites such as the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. France will contribute to the maintenance and renovation of the site, Abiy said. On top of that, French experts are set to advise Ethiopian officials on how to open the national palace, dating back to the rule of Haile Selassie who was emperor from 1930 to 1974, to tourists. On the diplomatic front, France … [Read more...] about Macron hails Ethiopia’s reforms as Abiy visits Paris
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Emmanuel Macron started a four-day visit to the French West Indies on Thursday, flying in to Martinique directly from New York, where he addressed the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. The French West Indies consists of four territorries in the Antillean archipelago Guadeloupe, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin and Martinique. These were former French colonies that are now French overseas territories. Poisonous Sargassum algae on a beach at Saint-Anne, Martinique (French Antilles). July 2011 PATRICE COPPEE / AFP High toxicity, 90% of population concerned Emmanuel Macron's visit to Martinique stems from a decades-old controversy concerning a toxic pesticide called Chloredecone, proven to be carcinogenic. Chloredecone was banned in the US in 1977 However, despite the ban, the pesticide continued to be used by banana farmers in the French West Indies till 1993. The island of Guadeloupe has recently been infested with the Sargassum toxic algae, which, when dry, produce hydrogen … [Read more...] about Storm clouds gather over Macron’s West Indies visit
As the Paris Metro often warns you during its own announcements, there are pickpockets operating on much of the city's underground transport network. But it hasn't always been clear to tourists what they should do if they're one of the unlucky ones who has their phone, wallet or purse swiped. Now Paris transport operator RATP is trialing a new procedure for foreign tourists which "aims to facilitate and speed up victims' process" with the idea in mind that this will allow them to apply for their insurance more quickly. Through the new system, victims will be able to report thefts directly through the RATP at six stations in the French capital where a member of staff will help them to fill out a form available in English and French which will then be sent to the Paris police. For the trial, Metro stations that see huge numbers of tourists pass through have been chosen. They are Franklin Roosevelt, Anvers, Saint-Michel-Notre Dame, … [Read more...] about Paris Metro rolls out new service for foreign tourists targeted by thieves
Filmmaker: Abdullah Elshamy The high-profile case of the death in police custody of French teenager Adama Traore in 2016 sparked widespread protests across the whole of the greater Paris region. The young black man was planning to celebrate his 24th birthday that evening but he never made it home. He was dead only a couple of hours after his arrest. A second autopsy confirmed that Adama died from suffocation. News of Traore's death caused anger and despair in some underprivileged areas of the suburbs. Days of protests followed and some members of the local community clashed with police, setting cars and buildings alight. Al Jazeera Arabic reporter Abdullah Elshamy went to Paris to ask what it means to be French. How does it feel when you can't get a job, when you are targeted because of your race and seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than your white, middle-class counterparts? Elshamy visits several suburban communities to identify first-hand the social, … [Read more...] about Paris, A Divided City: What does it mean to be French?
French President Emmanuel Macron begins a state visit to Washington on Monday that will bring together two world leaders who have forged an unlikely bond. Of everything Emmanuel Macron has accomplished in nearly a year as France's president, the most important may be his tough-love friendship with Donald Trump. From their first bone-squeezing handshake to Macron's recent claim that he persuaded Trump to bomb Syria, it's been an improbable relationship. And it will be on pomp-filled display starting Monday as Macron goes on a state visit to Washington, the first by any leader since Trump took office. Macron calls Trump all the time. With other world leaders too wary or weak to woo the impulsive U.S. president, Macron calculates that it's smarter and safer to talk to Trump than isolate him. The 40-year-old moderate progressive, who had never held elected office before he won France's presidential election, defended his overtures to the 71-year-old conservative Trump in an interview on … [Read more...] about Macron due in Washington for first state visit of Trump presidency