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Week in Review

Week in Review: tackling domestic violence, Johnson's 'preposterous' Brexit plan and democracy under threat from new media platforms

French soldier killed in Mali helicopter crash, Australian-Zambian singer Sampa The Great, The Irishman on Netflix
French soldier killed in Mali helicopter crash, Australian-Zambian singer Sampa The Great, The Irishman on Netflix FRANCE 24

FRANCE 24 this week explores the subject of exceptionally high levels of domestic violence in France, discovers how France truly is a civil servant's paradise, learns how e-scooters are provoking ire from Paris metro workers ahead of the December 5 strike and listens to former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser claim democracy is under threat.

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ARTICLES

Tackling domestic violence: ‘If you ask the right questions at the right time, you will save lives’

With one of Europe’s highest domestic violence rates, France has a dismal record when it comes to listening to the victims of abuse and affording them protection. As it prepared this week to unveil measures to end the scourge, the French government was under intense pressure to set the record straight.

Screengrab of commemorations for the French soldiers killed in Mali helicopter crash.
Screengrab of commemorations for the French soldiers killed in Mali helicopter crash. FRANCE 24

 

Mission impossible for France in the Sahel?

The death of 13 French soldiers in a helicopter accident in Mali on November 25 underlined the challenges France's armed forces face in the Sahel, amid intensifying insurgent attacks and doubts about the effectiveness of its military allies in this vast region south of the Sahara Desert.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during the launch of the Welsh Conservatives' manifesto in Wrexham, Britain, November 25, 2019.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during the launch of the Welsh Conservatives' manifesto in Wrexham, Britain, November 25, 2019. REUTERS - PHIL NOBLE

 

If Tories win UK elections, Johnson’s ‘preposterous’ Brexit plans threaten no-deal

Boris Johnson unveiled the Conservatives’ manifesto on Sunday ahead of the British general elections on December 12, with this all-important document vowing that the UK would leave the Brexit transition period at the end of 2020 and negotiate a trade deal with the EU in the meantime. Analysts say those promises are unrealistic and that following through on them would lead to a no-deal outcome.

Bargain e-scooter rides anger Paris metro workers ahead of ‘Black Thursday’ strike

As public transport workers in Paris gear up for a crippling strike on December 5, their employer – bus and metro operator RATP – has teamed up with dozens of companies to ensure increased access to ride-sharing services, as well as free-floating bicycles, e-scooters and electric mopeds to compensate for the lack of services. The move has angered unions, who say it undermines the purpose of the strike.

Zehra Dogan made paintbrushes from the hair of her fellow inmates and the feathers of birds who nested in the barbed wire.
Zehra Dogan made paintbrushes from the hair of her fellow inmates and the feathers of birds who nested in the barbed wire. Zehra Dogan

 

Zehra Dogan's prison paintings fight for the Kurdish cause

The Kurdish artist, activist and journalist Zehra Dogan was imprisoned for 600 days in Turkey as part of the crackdown on journalists in the wake of the failed 2016 military coup. With her paintings from prison on display in Paris and her letters published in French for the first time, she spoke to FRANCE 24 about her plans for the future and the recent US betrayal of the Kurds.

VIDEOS

 

Screengrab of Sandrine Bonnaire.
Screengrab of Sandrine Bonnaire. FRANCE 24

 

'I had eight teeth broken': French film star Sandrine Bonnaire shares domestic violence ordeal

On the United Nations-backed International Day for Eliminating Domestic Violence against Women on Monday, French film star Sandrine Bonnaire shared her harrowing experience of domestic abuse in conversation with FRANCE 24. 
 
SHOWS
 
THE 51%

A new role: Dame Kristin Scott Thomas talks to The 51 Percent

You might know the British actress from 'Four Weddings and a Funeral,' 'The English Patient' or 'Gosford Park', but Kristin Scott Thomas's latest role has nothing to do with acting. She talks to Annette Young about her new position as honorary president of the Women's Forum, how she's a relative latecomer to feminism and how #MeToo is slowly shaking up French cinema.

THE INTERVIEW

 

Screengrab of Brittany Kaiser, former Cambridge Analytica employee.
Screengrab of Brittany Kaiser, former Cambridge Analytica employee. FRANCE 24

 

'Our democracy is under threat', former Cambridge Analytica employee tells FRANCE 24

Brittany Kaiser is a former employee of the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, which is now notorious for its involvement in the election of Donald Trump and in the Brexit campaign. She has just released a memoir about her time working for Cambridge Analytica, entitled "Targeted". She spoke to FRANCE 24 about how she witnessed the firm deliberately create targeted ads for political aims, why she decided to speak out, and why she believes we are not any more protected from manipulation today than we were in 2016.

The making of the Western mind: Historian Tom Holland on the legacy of Christianity

British historian Tom Holland, whose book "Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind" has just been released in France, speaks to FRANCE 24 about the lasting legacy of Christianity, why he believes "The Lord of the Rings" is a deeply Catholic book, and why he thinks Donald Trump is the least Christian president the Americans have ever had.

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

 

Screengrab from French Connection as they explore France as a civil servants' paradise,
Screengrab from French Connection as they explore France as a civil servants' paradise, FRANCE 24

 

Is France a civil servant’s paradise?

France is famous, and at times infamous, for its bulky bureaucracy. Some go so far as to call it a civil servant’s paradise. French "fonctionnaires" are said to have a sweet deal compared to private sector workers. So just what are the perks? Meanwhile, the current government claims the system is bulky and expensive and has vowed to reform it, driving people into the streets. How much do France’s "fonctionnaires" cost the state? And what does the state get in return? Genie Godula and Florence Villeminot take a closer look in this month’s French Connections Plus.

TALKING EUROPE

Sakharov Prize laureate Oleg Sentsov on becoming 'a thorn in Putin's side'

Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian filmmaker and activist who was freed from a Russian prison in September, has told FRANCE 24 he wants to use his freedom to help get other political prisoners released. In 2014, Sentsov was kidnapped by Russian agents at his home in Crimea and put on trial in Russia on charges of terrorist activity - a trial and accusations that were denounced by the international community and human rights organisations. On Tuesday, he was in Strasbourg at the European Parliament to receive the institution’s highest human rights honour, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

ENCORE!

 

Screengrab of band Phoenix from Encore.
Screengrab of band Phoenix from Encore. FRANCE 24

 

'Liberté, Égalité, Phoenix!': French band chronicle their journey in new book

French band Phoenix helped define the sound of an era. Over the last twenty years, they’ve evolved from an edgy act from Versailles to one of the most influential and popular French bands, reaching audiences around the world. Guitarist Laurent Brancowitz and bassist Deck d'Arcy sat down with FRANCE 24's Florence Villeminot to talk about their latest project: a book chronicling their journey as a band.

Sampa The Great: 'I wanted to return to the story of who I am'

We meet Sampa The Great, an artist who is creating exciting, well-travelled music rooted in the Southern African continent. The 26-year-old was born in Zambia and raised in Botswana where she began MC-ing at school. She then went on to study in San Francisco and Los Angeles before moving to Australia in 2014. She has already supported Kendrick Lamar and Lauryn Hill. Her debut album "The Return" was released in September on the prestigious London label Ninja Tunes. It takes us on a journey through her different worlds and influences.

Screengrab from The Irishman review on Encore.
Screengrab from The Irishman review on Encore. FRANCE 24

 

'The Irishman': Scorsese opts for stream over screen

Film critic Lisa Nesselson speaks to Eve Jackson about the week's film news, including Martin Scorsese's Netflix-funded mafia movie with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, "The Irishman". They also discuss festival favourite "Knives and Skin", as well as "Sympathy for the Devil" - the 1992 siege of Sarajevo as seen through the eyes of the late war reporter Paul Marchand. Plus, they tell us about Alice Winocour's latest film "Proxima", in which Eva Green stars as an astronaut juggling a mission to Mars with family life.
 
YOU ARE HERE

Discovering the French island of Corsica in autumn

The sound of bleating sheep and the cries of shepherds have long echoed across Corsica's Alzo plateau. Early autumn is the perfect time for sheep farmers to bring their flocks down into the valley. Before the big event, shepherd Joseph Sabiani and his friends enjoy their last meal of the season while singing traditional songs. Elsewhere, in the small hilltop villages, locals are pleased to find a little respite after the last of the tourists take their leave.

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