Week in Review: Covid-19 prisoner releases, how a pandemic affects film and the Rance Valley

Week in Review
Week in Review © F24

This week we took a look at Iran's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the troubles that lie ahead for prisoners on early release due to the coronavirus and China's "mask diplomacy". We also investigate how Covid-19 is affecting the French cinema industry and the role of US forces in the Sahel region's war on terror. 



Challenges abound for prisoners released early from French prisons 

The release of more than 11,000 people from French jails has eased overcrowding and reduced the potential for Covid-19 contamination but has created a new set of challenges. 

Sale of Covid-19 masks in French supermarkets sparks controversy

French supermarkets have promised to put millions of masks on sale to help protect against Covid-19. But some health professionals are demanding an explanation after weeks of mask shortages and rationing.

Exiled Parisians face bittersweet homecoming as France eases Covid-19 lockdown

Parisians were roasted for spreadiing the coronavirus when they raced for the countryside ahead of France’s nationwide lockdown. While some are now itching to go back to the cities, others are reluctant to surrender their bucolic havens for a return to urban life in the age of Covid-19.

France to limit international summer travel over coronavirus fears 

French President Emmanuel Macron says it is unlikely that French people will be able to take long-distance trips this summer and that even trips within Europe may have to be limited to reduce the risk of a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Can the unmasking of China’s Covid-19 ‘mask diplomacy’ stem Beijing’s global power grab?

The Covid-19 outbreak found China uniquely positioned for a global soft-power grab, with Beijing using its supplies of medical equipment to launch a round of “mask diplomacy”. But then a steady flow of anti-Beijing headlines followed by an aggressive diplomatic onslaught unravelled the gains.



Paris by Night: FRANCE 24 meets the night wanderers of the Covid-19 lockdown

France’s lockdown is among the strictest in Europe as the country bids to stamp out Covid-19. Paris is usually known for its night wanderers, but the last few weeks have seen its vibrant atmosphere replaced by silence. However, not all Parisians are respecting lockdown measures and FRANCE 24 went out to meet them. Some are simply wandering the streets; others are out and about because the streets are where they call home.

Screengrab of people wandering around at night through an empty Paris.
Screengrab of people wandering around at night through an empty Paris. © FRANCE 24 screengrab.

Face masks for the deaf: Covid 19's communication challenge for the hearing impaired

How to lip read when everyone’s face is hidden behind a mask? That is the challenge facing deaf people across the world as the Covid-19 pandemic makes face masks a part of daily life. The answer could be transparent face masks but such masks are in short supply, leading some to make their own.

A transparent face mask on a mannequin in Nonthaburi, Thailand, on April 29, 2020.
A transparent face mask on a mannequin in Nonthaburi, Thailand, on April 29, 2020. © AFP / FRANCE 24

Locked up with Covid-19: UN warns of ‘disastrous’ conditions in Latin America’s jails

Protests and riots have hit prisons across South America in recent weeks over fears of the spread of Covid-19 within their walls. Now, the UN is warning that overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and lack of access to healthcare is causing the “rapid spread” of the virus in detention facilities throughout Latin America.

The UN has warned that overcrowding and poor conditions in Latin American jails is leading to the rapid spread of Covid-19 among inmates.
The UN has warned that overcrowding and poor conditions in Latin American jails is leading to the rapid spread of Covid-19 among inmates. © Reuters / France 24

Covid-19: France's small-scale farmers see 'glimmer of hope'

For many farmers the Covid-19 pandemic has been brutal, with large orders cancelled and revenue plunging. But some small-scale farmers have noticed a rise in direct sales. 

NYC housing activists call for nationwide #CancelRent strike

In hard-hit New York, thousands of people have joined a rent strike movement dubbed #CancelRent as the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread. They’re now calling for a nationwide strike.

Dylan is one of many NYC participating in the city's rent strike.
Dylan is one of many NYC participating in the city's rent strike. © Jessica le Masurier, FRANCE 24



Exodus: Refugees remember the 1940 German invasion

German soldiers reached the gates of Paris in June 1940, forcing many Parisians to flee the City of Lights. In all, 8-10 million refugees left their homes to escape the Nazi invasion – almost a quarter of the French population at the time.

Exodus: Refugees remember the 1940 German invasion
Exodus: Refugees remember the 1940 German invasion © F24




France under lockdown: Staying in shape and sightseeing with a difference

How are the French coping with life in lockdown, and what does a deserted Paris look like?



Film show: How is Covid-19 impacting the French cinema industry?

With 6,000 cinemas closed, 200 film shoots scrapped in just one month, more than €150 million lost and more than half the population signed up to a streaming service, we take a look at the effect the coronavirus has had on the French film industry. We also take a look at the unexpected revival of the drive-in theatre in the era of social distancing and the release of Terrence Mallick's "A Hidden Life" on VOD. 


Lockdown living with top French DJ Bob Sinclar’s nostalgic live sets

Millions are in confinement around the world, and all of us are searching for activities to cheer us up. Every day since mid-March, French DJ and producer Bob Sinclar has been gathering hundreds of thousands of people for one hour of uplifting funk via Facebook and Instagram.



'We don't have a strategy of herd immunity,' Swedish FM says

Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde spoke to FRANCE 24 about the Covid-19 pandemic and the approach adopted in her country, which has thus far avoided imposing a lockdown and has instead relied on trust and self-discipline. But she denied that this approach was akin to relying on herd immunity.  



Are US forces essential to war on terror in Africa's Sahel region?

In the fight against terrorist groups in Africa, US forces provide crucial support to the G5 Sahel group (which comprises Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) with intelligence, logistics and supplies. But as the terror threat continues to spread throughout the region, Africa is no longer a priority for the Pentagon, which is looking at withdrawing US troops


Covid-19: Doctor speaks out about Iran's handling of pandemic

Iran is one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East, with authorities there reporting more than 6,000 deaths. But observers and health experts say the numbers are actually much higher. After weighing the economic risks against health concerns, the country's leadership has decided to reopen businesses in late April followed by schools and mosques. We speak to a doctor from Tehran, who has been on the front lines of the battle against Covid-19. He asked for his identity to be concealed.



Brittany's Rance Valley, a pocket of tranquillity between land and sea

It flows for just 100 kilometres, but the Rance river in France's Brittany region is home to an exceptional and ever-changing array of biodiversity. Its mouth has been home to France's only tidal power station for half a century. We see how the 400-metre-long dam also acts as a road bridge between the towns of Dinard and Saint-Malo. Some 17 percent of households in Brittany get their power from this green energy source. We then travel farther up the valley, where we find boats, old mills ... and a famous seal named Joséphine.

Podcast © FMM


European professional football red-carded by Covid-19 pandemic

Professional football in Europe has not been spared by the Covid-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdowns. With colossal sums of money at stake, the impact on the clubs has been a financial catastophe. In France, the government has cancelled the rest of the Ligue 1 season. But in some countries, including Germany and Austria, training sessions have resumed and league games could soon be back. But how to play football amid the coronavirus threat? And will supporters get to see their idols anytime soon?


Bicycles: Riding out of lockdown

Transport via two wheels is cheap, clean, and allows for mass travel while maintaining safe distances. From Bogotá to Berlin, cities around the world are betting on bicycles to take over when coronavirus lockdowns ease.



Treating Covid-19: the toll on France's medical workers

Medical staff are feeling the full physical and psychological impacts of the Covid-19 crisis. In a bid to help the helpers, most hospitals now offer much-needed support. But the crisis doesn’t end at the hospital gates, and front-liners are also witnessing the effects on their private lives; we take a look at how this pandemic is affecting their children. Plus, among the exceptional measures taken to deal with a sudden influx of patients, French authorities promptly called upon medical and nursing students to offer backup.


A woman's work: Has Covid-19 seen the return of the '50s housewife?

Has a side-effect of the lockdown been the return of the 1950s housewife, with women once again assumed to be in charge of running the household even while working from home? Or are domestic responsibilities now equally divided?

THE 51 PERCENT © Getty Images/SuperStock RM - SuperStock

The right stuff: Are female leaders better at managing Covid-19?

While a number of male leaders have done well during the Covid-19 crisis, few with female leaders have done badly. We talk to Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur and author of "Uncharted", about whether women are more likely to be made of the right stuff when it comes to managing pandemics. 


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