Talks with John Kerry, France's teen violence problem and celebrating Women's Day

·4-min read

The world marked International Women's Day on March 8 with accolades for women making a difference, often at the risk of their own lives. In France, authorities grapple with a sharp rise in teen violence after a series of attacks; freediving under the frozen lake at Tignes; coronavirus protesters occupy Paris theatres; and we spoke to US climate czar John Kerry on a visit to Paris.

ARTICLES

Arms deal and sanctions trap British-Iranian mother in Tehran’s ‘hostage diplomacy’

The fate of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman detained in Tehran, is linked to an arms deal dating from the reign of deposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and is another example of Iran's policy of “hostage diplomacy”. The UK has agreed to pay Iran its dues, but US sanctions present another challenge.

Protesters occupy Paris theatres to protest against Covid-19 shutdowns

French protesters occupied three of the country’s four national theatres this week to demand an end to the closure of cultural venues imposed due to the pandemic as frustration grows with the months-long halt to performances.

A blunt US letter aims to revive the Afghan peace process

A leaked letter from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Ashraf Ghani instructing the Afghan president to comply with new initiatives to restart the peace process and enable a US troop pullout caught Afghan women’s rights activists by surprise on International Women’s Day.

France alarmed by 'despicable' death of teenage girl who drowned in Seine

The French government on Wednesday lambasted as "despicable" the drowning death of a 14-year-old girl whose beaten body was found in the Seine river after she was bullied at school and online over "compromising photos" shared by her classmates.

VIDEOS

Guimet Museum in Paris brings Bamiyan Buddhas back to life, 20 years on

Twenty years after the destruction of Afghanistan's Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban, the Guimet Museum in Paris is paying tribute to the dramatic 6th- and 7th-century sculptures and to the people of Bamiyan, the Hazara Shiites slain by the Taliban at the dawn of this century.

Longyi Revolution’: Why Myanmar protesters are using women’s clothes as protection

Protesters in Myanmar have taken to stringing up traditional women's skirts, called longyis, on clothes lines across streets as a way to protect themselves from security forces. According to old Myanmar traditions, walking beneath clothes that cover women’s private parts is considered bad luck.

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: 'All countries need to do better,' US climate envoy John Kerry tells FRANCE 24

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry granted an exclusive interview to FRANCE 24 at the US embassy in Paris. Kerry is on a trip to Europe to relaunch Washington's commitment to the fight against climate change. He said that with the election of Joe Biden, the US is ready to make up for its "inexcusable absence" over the past four years on the issue under Donald Trump. Kerry expressed hope that the coming years will be "the decade of decision and the decade of action", but warned that "all countries need to do better".

FOCUS

French celebrities help raise awareness about endometriosis

Endometriosis can cause cripplingly painful periods, is a common factor in infertility and affects around one in 10 women. Yet for years it was overlooked by both the general public and doctors. That's beginning to change. In France, Info-Endometriosis, a group that works to fund research and educate people about the condition, has launched several awareness campaigns. But its members say there's still a long way to go.

THE 51 PERCENT

Courage under fire: the women activists who risk their lives

Female activists across the globe still risk their lives to take a stand. In a special edition to mark International Women's Day on March 8, presenters from our shows in French, Arabic and Spanish report on the courageous individuals whose only crime is wanting a better life for all women.

ENCORE

British author and journalist Will Self on his younger self's drug addictions

Will Self an author, political commentator, and one of the liveliest and most interesting thinkers and writers in the UK today discusses his addiction memoir "Will", which has just been translated into French. He was once notorious for taking heroin on then prime minister John Major's plane while covering the 1997 election campaign, how rehab helped his writing, and whether Britain's successful vaccination programme could take it even farther from Europe.

YOU ARE HERE

Freediving under the frozen lake of France's Tignes resort

High up in the French Alps, Tignes is one of France's best-known winter resorts. At 2,100 metres above sea level, its frozen lake attracts divers in search of chilly thrills. The lake results from the 1950s construction, lower down in the valley, of a gigantic 180-metre-high dam, the highest in France. This monumental project completely reshaped the region and the destiny of the village.