France

Shark attacks in Reunion scare off surfers

 
Fear and frustration has gripped the Indian Ocean island of Reunion’s surfer community, which has taken emergency measures to address a recent spate of shark attacks. There have been two incidents of shark attacks in almost as many weeks, one of which was deadly, the other leaving the victim severely injured. Read more…
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How can François Hollande bring an end to Françafrique?

 
Last October, when François Hollande was still only a presidential candidate, he promised to put an end to Françafrique “with no regrets”. On Sunday, he defeated Nicolas Sarkozy and was elected as France’s president. Our Observers in West Africa, who followed the election very closely, consider the steps the new president could take to bring an end to the negative practices left over from colonialism. Read more...

Tornado caught on camera in the South of France

 
The southern United States is hit by tornadoes every year but they are something of a rare phenomenon in France. So locals were surprised to see one hit land near Toulouse Monday night. It only lasted a few minutes, but several people managed to film it on their mobile phones. Watch videos...

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Viewed from abroad: the rise of Marine Le Pen

 
Far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen came in third in the first round of the French presidential elections Sunday with an impressive score: she received 17.9% of votes, nearly one percent higher than her father received in 2002 when he made it to the second round of the elections. Read more...
 

Views from abroad: How the next president should handle foreign policy

 
As the French gear up to cast their votes in the presidential election Sunday, our Observers around the world, from the United Kingdom to Syria to the United States, share their thoughts about incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy’s foreign policy over the past five years – and whether they hope to see him re-elected, or prefer to see France change direction. Read more...
 
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Speakers of France’s endangered languages demand recognition

 
Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets all over France this weekend to defend the country’s minority languages. These have been spoken in different regions of France for centuries, but are slowly dying off. With the first round of the French presidential election just three weeks away, speakers of endangered tongues are trying to get candidates to take their concerns seriously. Read more…

Fake videos of Toulouse gunman’s death spreading online

 
Following the death on Thursday of Mohamed Merah, the man who confessed to three shootings in the south of France, many videos claiming to show his final moments are swirling around the Internet. The Observers team takes a look at some of these fake videos. Read more...

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Neighbour films final assault on Toulouse killer's home

 
On Wednesday, we published a video filmed by the Toulouse killer's neighbour of the police moving in on the gunman's home. The same neighbour, Nicolas B., filmed another video Thursday, as the police moved in for its final assault. Watch video...
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