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Week in Review: The world bids adieu to Karl Lagerfeld and France hits back at anti-Semitism

This week the world bid farewell to Karl Lagerfeld while France hit back at anti-Semitism. FRANCE 24 spoke to a woman who supported her family by living as a man under the Taliban and Venezuela's US envoy, who predicted the army will turn on Maduro.



'Air Cocaine' smuggling trial opens in the south of France

A high-profile French trial over the evocatively named Air Cocaine drug smuggling scandal began Monday in Aix-en-Provence after six years in the making.

Yellow Vests at crossroads as anti-Semitic incidents cloud message

The ugly anti-Semitic invective levied Saturday against French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut by yellow vest-clad demonstrators in Paris left a new stain on a movement that has already seen its support undercut by outbreaks of violence.

Parents search for answers over babies born without arms in France

Parents, health professionals and advocacy groups met in Paris for the first time on Thursday as part of a new committee to discuss mysteriously high rates of congenital birth defects in three areas of France.

Bill equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism sparks debate in France

A group of French lawmakers proposed a bill Monday that would make anti-Zionism a criminal offence in the same way that anti-Semitism is illegal in France. But many argue that opposing Israel is not comparable to anti-Semitism.



'At the end of the day, the military will support us,' Guaido's US envoy tells FRANCE 24

Venezuela's power struggle is heading towards a potentially violent showdown on Saturday, when self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido has vowed to allow caravans of US aid to cross the Venezuelan border in defiance of President Nicolas Maduro and the military. In an interview with FRANCE 24, Guaido's appointed representative to Washington, Carlos Vecchio, expressed confidence that the army will eventually abandon Maduro.

Being a man was 'the only way to survive' under the Taliban

Born in Kabul in 1985, Nadia Ghulam was 8 years old when a bomb flattened her home, killed her brother, destroyed her parents' livelihood and left her disfigured. Women were not allowed to work under the Taliban. But to support her family, Ghulam took on her brother's identity at the age of 11 and spent the next decade disguised as a man.


A tribute to Karl Lagerfeld

Tributes flooded in this week for Karl Lagerfeld, who died Tuesday in Paris. He was Chanel's creative director for more than three decades and considered a god among men in the fashion world. Regarded as one of the most important fashion visionaries of the 20th and 21st centuries, he was also known for his trademark dark sunglasses, black suit and ponytail.


A delay in Brexit is 'almost inevitable', Nicola Sturgeon tells FRANCE 24

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she believes it is "almost inevitable" that the Brexit process will be delayed. The SNP leader also said she had a "democratic mandate" for a second referendum on Scottish independence, saying she will soon reveal when she intends to call one.


Saving the planet – one sock at a time

Fashion is the second-most-polluting industry on the planet. Every year, the textile industry produces 5.8 million tons of waste in Europe alone – and France has one of the worst track records in the EU, as far as recycling is concerned. Márcia de Carvalho has been trying to do something about that with a recycling project called "Chaussettes Orphelines" (Orphaned Socks).


Inside Assad's Syria: Spotlight on Damascus

Bashar al-Assad and his military are close to victory against the Islamic State group after almost eight years of conflict. But the embattled president now faces a challenge: reconstructing a devastated country while holding on to power. Our France 2 colleagues report from Damascus.


Yellow Vests: 'Inequality of opportunity' key to understanding wealth disparity

The problem for the poor is not just financial inequality, but also inequality of opportunity. A good education and a good chance of employment are crucial to ensuring satisfaction, but are far easier for rich people to achieve. That's the view from economist Zsolt Darvas from the economic think tank the Bruegel Institute. He commented on what is perhaps the main complaint from France's Yellow Vest protesters: too much of a gulf between the rich and the poor.


Arsenic pollution: A toxic legacy of France's gold rush

The town of Salsigne, in southwest France, was once home to the largest gold mine in Europe and the largest arsenic mine in the world. The mine closed in 2004 but left in its wake one of the most polluted sites in France. The Down to Earth team went to take a closer look.

To see previous editions of the Week in Review, please click here.

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