Debbie Harry on her life in rock 'n' roll, an ex-CIA chief on Trump & the question of French hygiene

·5-min read

FRANCE 24 spoke to former CIA director Leon Panetta, who says Trump is risking US national security; anger erupts in France over new allegations of police brutality; Blondie's Debbie Harry on a life of rock 'n' roll madness; the question of French hygiene; and fans the world over mourn football great Maradona, who died of a heart attack Wednesday at the age of 60.

ARTICLES

Pain and glory: The extraordinary life of Diego Maradona

One of sport’s most cinematic (anti)heroes, Diego Maradona died of a heart attack on Wednesday, aged 60. His rise and demise was the subject of a documentary by Asif Kapadia, the third and last instalment in a trilogy about child prodigies consumed by stardom.

Paris police officers suspended over brutal beating of Black man

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin ordered the suspension on Thursday of four police officers involved in the brutal beating of a music producer in a Paris studio over the weekend. Footage of the incident showing police officers repeatedly punching the Black man and using truncheons was posted by a news site, sparking widespread condemnation.

France pays homage to WWII Resistance hero Daniel Cordier

France paid tribute this week to one of the last "Companions of the Liberation", the most distinguished order of resistance heroes decorated by General Charles de Gaulle. Daniel Cordier, who served as secretary to iconic French resistance leader Jean Moulin during World War II, died last week at the age of 100.

In appointing John Kerry to top role, Biden shows he is serious about climate

By appointing former senator and secretary of state John Kerry as the first ever US climate leader, President-elect Joe Biden is sending a clear message. He's not only reversing President Donald Trump’s roll-back of America’s commitments to fighting climate change – he plans to push these commitments further.

French businesses look to drive sales amid pandemic

Two rounds of Covid-19 lockdowns have taken their toll on French merchants, who are looking for innovative ways to boost fourth-quarter sales. Some of these changes are likely to last long after the pandemic is over.

In pictures: Notre-Dame Cathedral rebuild hits milestone as melted scaffolding cleared

The reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris reached a turning point this week with the removal of the final portions of scaffolding that melted into a twisted web during last year's blaze. Crucial restructuring and protective work can now proceed.

VIDEOS

‘Cubans loved him’: Maradona, friend of Castro, mourned in Cuba

From Argentina to Naples, Diego Maradona's death has been mourned by football fans around the world – including in Cuba, where he is remembered as a great friend to former leader Fidel Castro, a man Maradona once said was like a "second father".

Nagorno-Karabakh: After three decades, former residents return to find homes in ruins

Once the scene of fierce fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the district of Fuzuli on the outskirts of Nagorno-Karabakh won by Azerbaijani forces lies deserted following a recent ceasefire deal brokered by Moscow.

'Infernal cycle': Violent dismantling of latest Paris migrant camp sparks outrage

Images of French police violently removing people from a migrant camp in the centre of Paris have sparked shock and condemnation from politicians and NGOs. But aid workers say it is just the latest example of the "infernal cycle" facing migrants in the French capital.

TV SHOWS ONLINE

THE INTERVIEW

Former CIA director Leon Panetta: 'Donald Trump is damaging US national security'

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Leon Panetta, a former US secretary of defence and former CIA director, discussed President Donald Trump's refusal to concede the presidential race. He said Trump, who has "operated by chaos for the last four years", is making sure that the last few weeks of his administration are also chaotic.

Ethiopian cabinet minister: Army's assault on Tigray region is 'to protect Tigrayan people'

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Ethiopian Finance Minister Ahmed Shide defended the government's ongoing military offensive against the northern Tigray region and its capital Mekele. Shide said government forces had "liberated" significant areas of the region and that military operations "will be completed soon".

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French, hygiene and perfume: Why is the negative stereotype so hard to wash off?

The old cliché goes that the French have a questionable relationship with hygiene. And yet they're also famous for their vibrant perfume culture. So where does the negative stereotype come from?

FOCUS

Amid warming ties with Israel, Jewish community emerges from shadows in UAE

This Thursday saw the first ever scheduled flight between Dubai and Tel Aviv, with the UAE and Israel expected to boast 28 weekly connections within a few weeks. By opening borders to Israeli tourists and Jews from all over the world, Emirati authorities hope to revive sectors of the economy hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

REPORTERS

Protect the living, honour the dead: Ending violence against women in France

For the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25, we released a special documentary on the scourge of domestic violence. Every year in France, more than 220,000 women are victims of violence inflicted by a partner or ex-partner. Tragically, last year saw more than 150 femicides. We interviewed four women – a policewoman, a lawyer, a gynaecologist and an activist – who are trying to change the status quo.

ENCORE!

'Face It': Debbie Harry's memoir on sex, drugs, David Bowie and the mask of Blondie

Blondie star Debbie Harry discusses her mad life in rock 'n' roll and her autobiography, recently translated into French, which features stories of hanging out with Andy Warhol, taking drugs, being flashed by David Bowie and having her house taken by the tax collector – all while becoming a trailblazing rock star. It covers her adoption aged three months and goes all the way up to her 2017 album "Pollinator". The band has just announced a UK against-the-odds tour for November 2021 with the group Garbage.

Film show: Mime star Marcel Marceau's wartime heroics

Jesse Eisenberg plays legendary mime star Marcel Marceau, who helped thousands of Jews escape the Nazis, in "Resistance". Also, restored films from 20th-century Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu and the online Black Australia Festival, which is devoted to lifting up indigenous voices.

Feeding France: The restaurant chefs helping the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic

As restaurants are forced to remain closed until at least mid-January, we meet the top French chefs cooking up food for those in need during lockdown. We also delve into the mysterious world of missing and stolen art in a new online exhibition devoted to missing masterpieces. Plus, our reporters head to the El Gouna film festival to meet the Arab world's directors making political movies that challenge traditionalist societies.

YOU ARE HERE

The charm of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, a French archipelago off the coast of Canada

It is a bit of French soil off the coast of Canada: For two centuries, the archipelago of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, with its fish-rich waters, attracted people from Brittany, Normandy but above all from France's Basque country. Their descendants still keep Basque heritage alive, such as the sport of pelota and traditional songs.