Paris area set for another lockdown, 10 years of war in Syria and Lebanon's empty shelves

·5-min read

Almost one year to the day after France entered its first Covid-19 lockdown, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced a month-long limited curfew for Paris and other hard-hit regions. We also took a look back at the start of the Syrian conflict, 10 years ago this week; spoke with Myanmar’s UN envoy Kyaw Moe Tun; and saw how Lebanon's dual political and economic crises have led to a shortage in key food supplies.

ARTICLES

Paris region and beyond to begin month-long limited lockdown on Friday

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced Thursday a month-long limited lockdown for Paris and other regions of the country starting Friday as the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units spikes. Schools and essential shops, including bookstores, will remain open.

'A French exception': Experts call for rethink of open-schools policy amid pandemic

A year ago on Tuesday, France took the extraordinary step of locking down schools nationwide. But as the global pandemic ebbed and flowed in the long months since, France has stood apart – with its government taking pride in keeping schools open even while neighbouring nations closed theirs. Health and education professionals, however, say France's doctrinaire attitude towards schools needs some serious revision.

The Paris Commune, 150 years on – from the siege of the capital to ‘Bloody Week’

The Paris Commune launched an insurrection on March 18, 1871, when the largely left-wing, radical National Guard refused to accept the authority of the French government, killed two generals and took control of Paris – initiating the Communards’ febrile two-month rule over the City of Light.

Myanmar’s fleeing police officers put India in a tight spot

The arrival in India of Myanmar nationals, who say they are police officers fleeing junta orders to shoot at unarmed demonstrators protesting against the February coup, has put India in a sensitive position. The popular mood in India’s border Mizoram state to help ethnic kin across the border must be balanced with regional geostrategic interests.

Debate rages over US Senate filibuster, legislative ‘weapon of mass destruction’

The Senate filibuster, a major cause of the US’s political gridlock, has become the subject of fierce contention in Washington. US President Joe Biden said he was open to reforming the filibuster as GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promised a “scorched earth” policy if it were abolished.

Lebanon’s political class ‘squabbling over a field of ruins’ as economic crisis rages

Lebanon remains at a political impasse as squabbling between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri continues over the formation of a new government even as the country suffers the worst economic crisis in its history, exacerbated by the devastating August explosion at a Beirut port.

In pictures: A look back, one year after France went into lockdown

One year ago this Wednesday, millions of lives were turned upside down as French President Emmanuel Macron announced a nationwide lockdown that would go into effect at midday on March 17, 2020, and would end nearly two months later on May 10. FRANCE 24 takes a look at some of the images from this unprecedented public health measure that tested the nation’s resilience.

INFOGRAPHIC

The war in Syria, in 10 key dates

Since an uprising erupted against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in 2011, Syria has been plunged into a civil war that has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions. We take a look back at a decade of conflict in 10 key dates.

VIDEO REPORTS

Lebanon: Closed supermarkets and empty shelves as crisis hits food supplies

Protesters have returned to the streets of Lebanon in recent days as the country's economic meltdown, which has brought about the collapse of its currency, continues to wreak widespread hardship. Now the crisis has forced supermarkets and grocery stores around the country to close temporarily, raising fears that a country reliant on imports could soon face acute shortages.

'A symbol of Marseille': Vélodrome football stadium becomes vast vaccination centre

One of the largest Covid-19 vaccination centres in France opened Monday at the Vélodrome stadium, home of football club Olympique de Marseille, where up to 2,000 people a day may soon be able to receive jabs against the virus. It is hoped the stadium's symbolic importance will encourage more locals to get vaccinated in a country where vaccine hesitancy is notoriously high.

THE INTERVIEW

Myanmar’s UN envoy Kyaw Moe Tun: ‘I’m proud to have been charged with high treason’ by junta

On February 26, Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, made a sudden and unexpected move in declaring his employer – the military junta – the illegitimate ruler of Myanmar in front of the UN assembly. In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, the diplomat describes what went through his mind before making the fateful speech, and why targeted sanctions are needed against a junta he says is “committing crimes against humanity”.

ENCORE

Bonnie Tyler: The best is yet to come

She has one of the most distinctive voices in the world. Bonnie Tyler has been performing for 50 years with adored songs like "Total Eclipse of the Heart", "Lost in France" and "I Need a Hero". She speaks about her upbeat new album, "The Best is Yet to Come"; being in Portugal since the pandemic started; and why she can't wait to meet her fans again. Bonnie also answers some questions from fans sent to us on Twitter.

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

France's war on drugs: Harsh laws vs. high consumption

Despite having some of Europe’s strictest drug laws, France has the highest rate of cannabis consumption on the continent. We take a closer look at illegal substances in this edition of French Connections.

THE 51 PERCENT

The sound of her voice: Why Alexa and other smart home devices need a feminist reboot

Have you noticed how the dulcet tones of our smart home devices all happen to be female and rather obliging? We speak to Dr Yolande Strengers, an Australian digital sociologist and co-author of, '"The Smart Wife: Why Alexa and other devices need a feminist reboot."

YOU ARE HERE

In pursuit of excellence: French craftspeople aim for top prize

For French craftspeople, the title of "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" is the prestige of a lifetime; the recognition of unparalleled savoir-faire in a certain discipline. The most famous winners are all chefs although 230 different trades are involved in the competition. Florists, stonemasons and pastry chefs all compete to win the highest honour of their professions.

FASHION

Ready-to-wear, autumn-winter 2021/22: Dior's unsettling vision of beauty

Mirror, mirror on the wall … who's the fairest of them all? Dior’s sumptuous and subversive film for next autumn's ready-to-wear offerings suggests the answer isn't a simple one. With in-person fashion weeks still cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the film was shot inside Versailles's world-famous Hall of Mirrors. Maria Grazia Chiuri takes us deep into a world of fairy tales with the help of a challenging set from Italian artist Silvia Giambrone, set off by choreography from Sharon Eyal.