India’s Covid critics silenced, Rwanda flags new chapter with France and ‘Nomadland’ in Oscar first

·5-min read

The world watched India’s Covid-19 crisis unfold – record-high cases and deaths and hospitals without oxygen and beds – as Modi's government asked Twitter to delete posts critical of its pandemic response. Rwanda’s foreign minister told FRANCE 24 that new reports on France’s role in the 1994 genocide could open a new chapter in relations between the nations. At the Oscars, a goal for inclusivity with the first woman of colour, Chloé Zhao, winning best director for “Nomadland”, while polls in France forecasted a 2022 rematch between President Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

ARTICLES

Covid-19: French vaccine appointments go unclaimed, reviving debate on who should qualify

Some Covid-19 vaccination centres in France have been offering time slots but are struggling to find takers. Faced with this situation, several elected officials and members of the scientific community are calling for more people to be eligible for vaccination. For now, however, the government is keeping its current rules – only those 55 and over qualify – in place.

French twist: Spectacular surprises are the norm in France's presidential elections

It's the unsettling backdrop of French politics in 2021 – a feeling of déjà vu. A year ahead of presidential elections, poll after poll puts President Emmanuel Macron in a 2022 rematch against far-right leader Marine Le Pen. But French voters say they don't want to relive that 2017 duel a year from now. And history, at least, is on their side: France's presidential elections are often rife with spectacular surprises.

Indian government tightens its grip on Twitter as Covid-19 cases surge

Indian social media users have taken to Twitter with desperate pleas for help as the country struggles to cope with record high Covid-19 cases and deaths. But Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been accused of attempting to control the narrative with legal orders to delete Twitter posts critical of its response.

'Erdogan, Assassin,' shout French Armenians on genocide anniversary amid security concerns

France’s Armenian diaspora took to the streets of Paris, Lyon and Marseille on Saturday to commemorate the 106th anniversary of the Armenian genocide on the heels of a war with Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan and amid fears for their security at home.

Covid-19’s ‘seriously negative impact’ on fight against malaria

Since the coronavirus first took the world by storm in early 2020, it has understandably almost monopolised the world’s attention. But this has taken the spotlight away from other diseases such as malaria. For World Malaria Day on April 25, FRANCE 24 examined the challenges to overcome in the fight against this disease.

Challenges ahead for France in navigating Chad’s post-Deby transition

France called Tuesday for the creation of a civilian national unity government in Chad, an apparent shift in stance and a sign of the delicate balancing act Paris must perform as it seeks to ensure stability in the region following the death of veteran strongman Idriss Deby last week. Chad has been a key French ally in the fight against jihadists in Africa’s troubled Sahel region.

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THE INTERVIEW

Rwanda’s FM Vincent Biruta: ‘It’s time to open a new chapter between Rwanda and France’

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta said that two recent reports on France’s role in the 1994 genocide – one submitted in France and the other in Rwanda – came “almost to the same” conclusion, and allow for the potential opening of a new chapter in diplomatic relations between the two countries.

DOWN TO EARTH

Rewilding: Nature's recovery

Scientists are calling it the sixth mass extinction and up to a million plant and animal species are threatened. As we colonise the natural world for our own ends – agriculture, urbanisation – we destroy habitats and disturb ecosystems. But what if we reintroduced some of the extinct species and then left nature to heal itself?

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Standing up to taboos: Meet the blogger breaking down cultural barriers

Faiza Rammuny is a Palestinian-American blogger who tackles regional taboos with humour. She takes on topics like the importance of reputation in Middle-Eastern society, judgement of women based on a different value system to men, pressure to get married, hijab and, you guessed it, virginity.

ENCORE!

Filmmaker Chloé Zhao makes Oscar history with ‘Nomadland’

Capturing a poignant sense of loss, Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” took away the best film and best director prizes, as well as best actress award for Frances McDormand. Film journalist Rhonda Richardson tells us why Zhao’s movie evokes the strange reality of the past year, and film critic Lisa Nesselson tells us about the historical significance of that win.

A symphony in yellow, red and blue: Kandinsky's iconic canvas goes online

Twelve years ago, Vassily Kandinsky’s paintings were centre stage at Paris's Pompidou Centre, as it held an important retrospective of the artist's body of work. Today, the museum’s galleries remain closed due to Covid-19, but Kandinsky's vibrant, abstract canvases are now just a click away. We take a closer look at one of these iconic pieces.

YOU ARE HERE

The spring awakening of the forest in France's Ardèche region

In France's south-eastern Ardèche region, as winter ends, the forest slowly wakes up from its long hibernation. Spring is the time when a whole population gets busy studying, preserving and tidying up these natural spaces. Agents of the French National Forests Office replant saplings and choose the trees to be felled, volunteers redo the signage of the hiking paths before the summer and private forest owners take care of grafting. We went to see them.

THE 51 PERCENT

Coercive control: What is it and why should it be criminalised?

As France along with many other countries deal with a surge in domestic abuse due to the pandemic, Annette Young talks to Sarah McGrath from the NGO Women for Women France on why coercive control, where perpetrators humiliate and control their partners, should be criminalised. Also new marriage laws in Gabon officially permits the payment of a dowry to the family of the bride. Yet our team on the ground reports on whether the move will indeed protect women. Plus the menopause and how it impacts the careers of millions of women, many of whom are working full-time.