Week in Review: Violence in the Paris suburbs, Syria risks a 'bloodbath' and riding with Bugatti

Week in Review
Week in Review © France 24

FRANCE 24 looks at Italy's preparations to reverse its lockdown after having been hit hard by the coronavirus, an outbreak of violence in some of the impoverished suburbs of Paris and the risk of the virus causing a "bloodbath" in Syria. We also spoke to the Black Eyed Peas about their latest releases and looked at Tom Hanks' latest "nicer than ever" role.



Covid-19: 'If there were a severe outbreak in Syria, there would be a bloodbath'

While the Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 180,000 people worldwide and infected more than 2.5 million, Syria has reported relatively few cases. But if the epidemic were to worsen, Syria's death toll risks spiraling out of control as the country, still under international sanctions, lacks basic medical equipment.

Spectre of second wave haunts Italy as government mulls path out of lockdown

The European country worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic is approaching a fateful decision on how to start lifting a nearly two-month-long lockdown on May 4, with experts warning that Italians must learn to “coexist” with the virus for months to come.

Italy fears a second wave.
Italy fears a second wave. © Reuters

Air pollution and Covid-19: An explosive combination for our health?

Recently published studies have explored the possibility of a link between pollution levels and Covid-19 fatalities. While initial observations suggest that the virus is more dangerous in heavily polluted areas, more work is needed to prove this conclusively.

Violence flares in tense Paris suburbs as heavy-handed lockdown stirs ‘explosive cocktail’

Nights of unrest in the French capital’s northern suburbs have stoked fears of a major flare-up in deprived neighbourhoods where weeks of lockdown have exacerbated the simmering tensions between restless youths and police.

A rubbish bin burns in the street during clashes in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, in the northern suburbs of Paris, early on April 21, 2020.
A rubbish bin burns in the street during clashes in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, in the northern suburbs of Paris, early on April 21, 2020. © Geoffroy Van der Hasselt, AFP



From Netflix to sex toys: The businesses benefiting from the Covid-19 pandemic

Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll on dozens of industries, sparking fears of a global economic recession to rival the Great Depression. But for a few companies business is booming, as the pandemic triggers a surge in demand for their products.

Video Reports
Video Reports © France 24

‘The right thing to do’: The volunteers testing potential Covid-19 vaccine

The first two volunteers were injected with a potential new Covid-19 vaccine being trialled at Oxford University on Thursday. More than 1,000 have agreed to take part in the first phase of human trials, despite the possible risk of side effects.

Human trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine have begun in Oxford, UK.
Human trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine have begun in Oxford, UK. © AFP / FRANCE 24

‘Covering’ the coronavirus: our reporters’ perspective

The coronavirus outbreak has, in the space of a few weeks, affected people from all corners of the world. As France prepares its gradual exit from confinement in May, “Covering” takes a look at how the Covid-19 crisis unfolded and how it has influenced the life and work of FRANCE 24 journalists.



French gender equality minister on helping victims of domestic violence during lockdown

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Marlène Schiappa, France's minister for gender equality, discussed the rise in domestic violence during the country's Covid-19 lockdown and the measures taken by the French government in response.

Marlène Schiappa
Marlène Schiappa © FRANCE 24

IMF's Kristalina Georgieva tells FRANCE 24 some eventual debt forgiveness is not off the table

There has been a massive international effort to shore up Africa's ability to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, with the continent expected to pay a devastating economic toll in the fightback. Lenders have come up with $57 billion in loans and grants to help with the immediate impact of the crisis. International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva tells FRANCE 24 that some eventual debt forgiveness is not off the table. 

IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks to FRANCE 24
IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks to FRANCE 24 © France 24

Covid-19: Francophone chief calls for 'moratorium' on Africa's debt, not cancellation

Louise Mushikiwabo, the secretary general of the international organisation for Francophone nations, explained that Africa has been "extremely cautious" amid the Covid-19 pandemic but is already suffering the economic consequences. She added, however, that she was not in favour of cancelling the debt of African countries, but that she preferred a "moratorium on debt" to support the economies of the continent. "Africa is not demanding any special treatment," she said.

Former top White House official on Trump's Covid-19 response: 'Time was lost'

Beth Cameron, a former top White House official for pandemics, discussed the Trump administration’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Cameron, who headed a directorate on pandemics created under Barack Obama that was later disbanded by the Trump administration, told FRANCE 24 that "time was lost" due to that decision. She also reacted to reports that a US vaccine expert was fired for disagreeing with Trump. Finally, she strongly criticised the president's decision to suspend funding to the World Health Organisation.


In quarantine with the Black Eyed Peas

Will:i:Am, Taboo and apl.de.ap from the multi-million selling hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas speak to Eve Jackson about the role of the musician in an international health crisis, their new single "Mamacita" that's getting five million hits a day and how supermarket workers are the real superheroes during this global pandemic. 

The Black Eyed Peas
The Black Eyed Peas © France 24

Tom Hanks is nicer than ever in 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'

FRANCE 24's film critics review "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" by Marielle Heller, in which Tom Hanks plays the beloved American TV personality Mister Rogers. We also look at the documentary "Be Natural", directed by Pamela Green, about the first female to direct a film: Frenchwoman Alice Guy.


Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers
Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers © France 24


Bugatti: A victory lap around France's Alsace region

For almost 40 years, the automobile pioneer Ettore Bugatti designed exceptional cars in France's eastern Alsace region. "Nothing is too beautiful; nothing is too expensive," was his motto. At the age of 21, the Italian mechanics enthusiast was hired by an Alsatian industrialist. In 1909, he set up his own business in Molsheim. Today, a foundation is dedicated to him in the city centre and about 100 models can be seen in the giant automobile museum in nearby Mulhouse. FRANCE 24 takes you on a tour of the region, starting at a Bugatti workshop.


French culture: An 'exception' to be protected?

France is known around the world for its culture, and its literature, cinema, music and art are seen as precious things that must be protected and promoted. The French state therefore invests a lot of money in the country’s cultural output. This costly policy – known as the "cultural exception" – has a good return on investment in terms of economic growth, but isn't without controversy.


From tough to tougher: The challenges for disabled people in times of lockdown

Every day, disabled people face specific challenges. But the coronavirus lockdown measures have made things even more difficult.


A world confined: FRANCE 24 reports from India to Ethiopia

FRANCE 24 brings you four reports from our correspondents around the globe.

A world confined
A world confined © FRANCE 24


With France now in its sixth week of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, FRANCE 24 brings you four reports showing how the crisis has disrupted daily life across the country.


Paralysed planes: Should airline bailouts come with climate conditions?

As Covid-19 takes hold across the globe, and global demand for air travel falls 80 percent, the aviation industry is in freefall. The International Air Transport Association predicts half of all airlines will be bankrupt by June if governments don't step in with loans and bailouts. Climate campaigners, however, believe the pause in flying is an opportunity to build a cleaner air transport system. 


Haute couture, summer 2020: A force for female emancipation?

Paris was once again the global hub of haute couture in January, providing the backdrop for the summer’s couture collections. It’s an art form out of reach for most budgets. But, at its best, it can carry powerful messages about artistic and economic freedom. At Julien Fournié and Alexandre Vauthier, it’s all about turning a dream into reality through the client and couturier working together.

Fashion © FRANCE24


How reproductive rights are being eroded by Covid-19

The first two volunteers were injected with a potential new Covid-19 vaccine being trialled at Oxford University on Thursday. More than 1,000 have agreed to take part in the first phase of human trials, despite the possible risk of side effects.

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