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Theresa May soldiers on; Israel political turmoil; France fuel protests

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FOCUS

'New right', old ideas? A closer look at the far right in Germany

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YOU ARE HERE

Art Deco: France's love affair with the Roaring Twenties

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#THE 51%

India's vanishing women workers

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REPORTERS

Reporters: An outside view of France's Fifth Republic

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#TECH 24

Audrey Tang: A hacker-turned-minister in Taiwan

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ENCORE!

The Land of the Rising Sun comes to La République

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PERSPECTIVE

Concerts Without Borders: Making classical music accessible

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BUSINESS DAILY

UK car industry says draft Brexit deal is 'positive step'

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REVISITED

We return to places which have been in the news - often a long time ago, sometimes recently - to see how local people are rebuilding their lives. Sunday at 9.10 pm. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2018-09-07

Video: One year after Hurricane Irma, St Martin struggles to recover

On September 5, 2017, Hurricane Irma – the most powerful the Caribbean has ever seen – hit Saint-Martin, the small island France shares with the Netherlands. At least 11 people lost their lives on the French side, 95% of which was damaged. Thousands fled in the coming days and months; many are yet to return. FRANCE 24’s Chris Moore and Julie Dungelhoeff covered the aftermath of Irma and witnessed locals struggling to come to terms with the scale of the destruction. A year on, they returned.

On the seafront in Phillipsburg – the capital of the island’s Dutch side - life is slowly returning to normal, one year after Hurricane Irma. Cruise liners deliver a stream of tourists seeking beachside entertainment and tax-free shopping.

But on the less wealthy French side, where Irma hit hardest, houses remain in ruins and debris litters the landscape.

>> Video: Hurricane Irma sweeps through Saint Martin

“Irma just exposed the reality of what we were already living,” says Jérémy. He’s a youth worker in the impoverished neighbourhood of Sandy Ground, where the hurricane laid bare the island’s social divides. Most people here were uninsured when Irma hit, leaving them reliant on charity and their own resources to rebuild homes and lives. The French state says it wants to see an end to construction in high-risk areas like this, just metres from the sea, and people are anxious for the future.

>> The Debate: "Picking up the pieces, What lessons from Hurricane Irma?"

“It’s the most beautiful spot in the world,” according to Jean-François, as work gets underway on rebuilding his luxury hotel in once-idyllic Grand Case. This isolated island – divided between France and the Netherlands since the 17th century – is almost entirely dependent on tourism. People here know that their livelihoods hinge on getting infrastructure up and running as soon as possible – and they’re angry at the authorities over the slow pace of reconstruction.

“I did receive 50 million for public services, 15 million to repair schools and 6 million for housing... Is it enough? No it's not! But that's what we got,” says Daniel Gibbs. He’s president of the Overseas Collectivity of St Martin, the title the island’s French side has borne since 2007 after voting for more autonomy.

Paris has paid for repairs to roads, schools and telecommunications but says the local government must play its part in other areas. As the officials wrangle, ordinary people are left wondering when life will return to normal.

>> Reporters: "Barbuda, an island paradise wiped out by Hurricane Irma"

By Christopher MOORE , Julie DUNGELHOEFF

Archives

2018-11-02 REVISITED

Congolese nostalgic for era of Mobutu, the 'leopard of Zaire'

More than 20 years after the fall of the charismatic Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the vast African country with an iron fist from 1965 to 1997, many Congolese...

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2018-10-19 REVISITED

Semey Revisited: The legacy of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan

Nearly 30 years after the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in the steppes of eastern Kazakhstan, local people are still suffering the consequences of four decades...

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2018-10-05 REVISITED

Baghdad Revisited: The resilience of the Iraqi people

"The abode of peace and capital of Islam" – this is how 14th century explorer Ibn Battuta described Baghdad in his writings. The city’s recent history, however, has been anything...

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2018-09-21 REVISITED

Video: Hero or dictator? Ugandans divided over Idi Amin Dada’s legacy

Forty years after Idi Amin Dada’s bloody regime came to an end, Ugandans are divided over how to view their former leader. For older Ugandans, the president’s eight years at the...

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