Week in Review: Suicides among French police, Afghan women soldiers and Freddie Highmore

@France 24 screengrab: L to R, Freddie Highmore, Marseille's Château d'If, and the Clos Lucé, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years.

FRANCE 24 this week looked at French soul-searching over the genocide in Rwanda, women leading the charge in Sudan and spoke to actor Freddie Highmore. We also explored workplace abuse in South Korea and Leonardo da Vinci's years in France.



Launched in response to Yellow Vest anger, France’s ‘Grand Debate’ highlights need for more ‘justice and equity'

French PM Édouard Philippe has outlined the initial conclusions of the so-called Grand Débat, or great debate, a series of nationwide public meetings President Emmanuel Macron launched in response to the Yellow Vest protest movement.

Women lead the charge and chants in Sudan protests

Sudan was a repressive place for women under Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year Islamist reign. But they have reclaimed their voice during the latest anti-regime protests and are determined to secure a place in the future.

Wave of police suicides in France sparks alarm

The number of police suicides in France this year has risen to 25 after two officers were confirmed dead over the weekend after apparently taking their own lives.

France's role casts a long shadow, 25 years after the Rwandan genocide

As Rwanda marks 25 years since the genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 people in just 100 days, France is renewing efforts to shine a light on its role in the country, long a source of tension between Paris and Kigali.

Is Saudi Arabia on track to become a nuclear power?

Saudi leaders say they need nuclear energy to wean their country off of its dependence on fossil fuels. But construction of a first reactor is sparking fears about the Gulf state’s quest for nuclear power in a volatile region.

How the West’s silence emboldened Libya’s Haftar

Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar’s advance on Tripoli has shocked the international community and sparked a UN call for a military halt. But is it too little, too late to contain the self-aggrandising military man’s ambitions?

MPs from right and left unite against privatising Paris airports

French opposition lawmakers from left and right who banded together to trigger a public referendum on President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to privatise Paris airports have cleared a first hurdle in a complex process often regarded as nearly impossible.



Some of Paris's most iconic monuments are celebrating big birthdays this year

The Eiffel Tower is blowing out 130 candles. Inaugurated in 1889 for the World Fair, it held the title of "world’s tallest structure" for several decades. Today, the Eiffel Tower is a global cultural icon, but this was far from the case to begin with. Initially, some of France's leading artists and intellectuals were outraged by it. The Louvre Pyramid similarly rocked the boat when it was inaugurated 30 years ago.


Leonardo da Vinci's final years in France

You know him as Italy's most famous painter and inventor, but did you know that Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years in France's Loire Valley, under the patronage of King Francis I? We visit the Chateau of Amboise and the Clos Lucé to find out more about Leonardo's French years and discover how the Mona Lisa ended up in the Louvre.


Rwanda, story of a genocide: 'I killed some at the barricades, others in the countryside'

Twenty-five years after the Rwandan genocide, both Kigali and Paris are still trying to shed light on some of the grey areas of the massacre of nearly 1 million people between April and July in 1994. Did the then French government turn a blind eye to the evidence? Did it allow some of the perpetrators to go free? We hear from witnesses and observers in this exclusive documentary.


The places that inspired great French writers, from Dumas to Proust

Just off the coast of the city of Marseille, the Château d'If fortress was made famous by "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas. Two centuries after the book's release, visitors from around the world still follow in the footsteps of the character Edmond Dantès. Meanwhile, in his novel "In Search of Lost Time", Marcel Proust was inspired by his memories at Illiers-Combray. This is the town where his Aunt Leonie lived, the woman who regularly gave him a madeleine dipped in linden.


Freddie Highmore: 'I'd be completely useless in any real medical situation'

He charmed audiences as the proto Peter Pan in "Finding Neverland". But unlike his character, little Freddie Highmore did grow up and now he is better known as Dr Shaun Murphy, star of "The Good Doctor". He discusses the show's careful treatment of his character's autism, the challenge of squeezing 10 hours of surgery into two minutes, and why his tearful performance as a child actor went viral on the internet.

THE 51%

Afghan women soldiers fear the Taliban's return to politics

Afghanistan's female soldiers fear that the return of the Taliban to the country's political scene could end their lives in the military. Also, how Norwegian men are being encouraged to seek jobs in female-dominated sectors and how Argan oil has become a highly sought-after cosmetics ingredient while transforming the lives of the Moroccan women who make it.


Abuse of power in South Korea: Government to tackle workplace 'gapjil' culture

South Korea's government is finally confronting "gapjil", the widespread problem of abuse of power and harassment at work. This comes after a string of scandals involving some of the country's biggest companies. We look at how the authorities are tackling an increasing number of incidents of abuse of power in a society that places a premium on work and corporate loyalty.


In the 21st century, fashion will be dystopian and sexy

It's the 21st century, and designers no longer tell princess stories. Instead, they tend to fall into dystopia. For his Winter 2019 ready-to-wear collection, Manish Arora honours Mad Max while Rick Owens reveals the people of the desert. Tuomas Merikoski of Aalto shows off a "modest" wardrobe while Thom Browne pays tribute to Lady Troubridge, a lesbian feminist sculptor. For Masha Ma and Vivienne Westwood, fashion today has the power to change our world view. And French designer Isabel Marant proves it, in a rather sexy way.

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

For more on these and other international news stories, visit FRANCE24.com or check out the full range of our TV shows.


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