Week in Review: Sweden's Covid-19 strategy backfires, inventive social distancing and nostalgia for Cannes

Week in Review
Week in Review © Screen grab

This week FRANCE 24 looked at how Sweden's Covid-19 strategy led to a rise in infections compared with its Nordic neighbours, why France's army collapsed so quickly in the face of Germany's 1940 invasion, and if the World Health Organization's review of its pandemic response will be influenced by China. We also take a trip down memory lane for those who are missing the Cannes Film Festival.



Sweden’s Covid-19 strategy has caused an ‘amplification of the epidemic’

Sweden is famously one of the few countries to have opted against a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. But given that the country has a much higher death toll per million than its Nordic neighbours, many observers have suggested that the Swedish approach has failed.

Why did France lose to Germany in 1940?

The speed with which France crumbled and capitulated in the face of the May 1940 German invasion is still shocking, 80 years on. 

Who hijacked the WHO and can it impact the Covid-19 whodunnit?

Taiwan’s exclusion from this week’s annual meeting of the World Health Organization’s governing body highlighted China’s power grab of multilateral institutions. With Beijing’s renewed commitment to the UN health agency and Trump’s funding cut, is an international investigation likely to reveal the mishaps and cover-ups of the Covid-19 pandemic?

Covid-19 creates bumps in China’s ‘New Silk Road’

An increasing number of developing countries that have joined Beijing’s “New Silk Road” initiative are facing economic problems sparked by the coronavirus crisis. China now finds itself facing a dilemma between trying to salvage its own economy or forgiving and renegotiating its partners’ loans.


Covid-19: Inventive social distancing around the world

From unusual headwear to unique modes of transport, citizens across the world have turned to inventive means to go about their daily lives while still respecting social distancing rules.

People around the world have turned to inventive social distancing methods to keep safe during the coronavirus crisis.
People around the world have turned to inventive social distancing methods to keep safe during the coronavirus crisis. © AFP / FRANCE 24

Covid-19: Neglected by government, Amazon tribes turn to traditional medicine

With the Covid-19 pandemic taking a heavy toll on Brazil’s Amazonas state, some Amazon tribes are turning to traditional medicine to treat the illness amid what they say is a lack of help from the country’s government.

A member of the Sateré Mawé collects ingredients for traditional medicine in the Amazon rain forest on May 17,2020.
A member of the Sateré Mawé collects ingredients for traditional medicine in the Amazon rain forest on May 17,2020. © AFP / FRANCE 24



OECD chief says tackling Covid-19 is not a choice between lives and livelihoods

The global economy has been turned on its head by the coronavirus pandemic, with predictions of the worst recession in 90 years. The head of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria, tells FRANCE 24 that it is a “false dilemma" to say we have to choose between "lives and livelihoods" and that dealing with both the virus and the economic consequences are interlinked.

Barbara Hendricks on sheltering in place: 'This is how refugees feel all the time'

Barbara Hendricks has used her voice for two things: in the service of a superlative musical career and as a staunch defender of human rights. As a lifetime ambassador for the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees, she’s staging a concert from Stockholm’s Vasateatern to help this vulnerable sector of society.

THE INTERVIEW © France 24 screengrab


Discovering France's lesser-known museums

France is full of small museums that retrace its history. In the southwestern town of Agen, the museum of fine arts houses 3,000 works of art. Ranging from ancient times to the present day, they are housed in four Renaissance-era mansions which have been graced by the presence of Catherine de Medici and Queen Margot. Meanwhile, 800 kilometres north, the small Normandy port of Honfleur has dedicated a museum to local artist Eugène Boudin. He was one of the first Impressionist painters to capture the changing light on this stretch of the French coast.

VOUS ETES ICI © France 24


Missing Cannes? A trip down memory lane

FRANCE 24 was supposed to be at the 73rd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the highlight of the cinematic year. Instead, we have taken a journey down memory lane to review our past Cannes coverage, including interviews with Stephen Spielberg, John Travolta, Robert DeNiro and Aishwarya Rai.

A l'Affiche!
A l'Affiche! © FRANCE 24

Film show: Love scenes in the time of Corona

How do actors shoot love scenes in a time of social distancing? We also look at France’s pop-up drive-ins; French documentary "La Cravate" (The Tie), about a young man enthusiastic about Marine Le Pen and the National Front party; and writer-director Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s first project outside his native Japan, "The Truth", which is set in Paris and stars Catherine Deneuve as a famous actress whose memoirs are about to be published.

Encore! © Screen grab


Covid-19 debrief: Paris nurses, doctors reveal heavy toll on mental health

In hospitals across France and around the world, healthcare workers have been going into daily battle against Covid-19. Surrounded by a deadly invisible virus and caring for patients in their final moments, they have been on the front line for the past two months – and the psychological toll has been heavy. In a hospital in Saint-Denis, in Paris’s northern suburbs, a team of psychologists has been doing the rounds to help doctors and nurses navigate the trauma and speak out about their experiences.

Concern mounts for detainees in Russia after authorities suppress prison uprising

After the brutal suppression of an uprising in the Angarsk prison east of Moscow on April 10, 2020, the families of more than 60 inmates are desperate for news of their relatives. They want to know whether loved ones are dead or alive. Prison authorities have reported the death of one inmate “by hanging”, but said all others were incarcerated in good conditions. For the worried wives and relatives, the fight to find out the truth continues.

FOCUS © France 24 screengrab


Food waste: Turning trash into treasure

As people across the globe stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic, residential trash has increased dramatically. While households used to cook on average once or twice a day, many are now making at least three meals on a daily basis, generating along the way an abundant yet unexploited resource: food waste.


The women fighting Covid-19: Pandemic highlights lack of female representation

We take a look at the lack of women leaders in the scientific and medical fields and talk about what that means for the fight against Covid-19 with Professor Sarah Hawkes, a specialist in gender and health at University College London. We also meet some of the few women scientists and doctors who are leading the battle against the virus. 


Populism and the pandemic: The great divide in Brazil

Populist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is refusing to sacrifice the economy for the sake of public health amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Like him, his supporters downplay the crisis and denounce "coronavirus tyranny". But local authorities have adopted lockdown measures against the president's advice. And in the cramped, working-class favelas, the locals are afraid of Covid-19 and are doing what they can to combat a potential health disaster.


Free afro hair! The message from British singer-songwriter Shingai

Dressed in her lucky vintage waterproof by French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, British singer-songwriter Shingai is adding the final touches to her new single "War Drums". The former member of the pop-soul group Noisettes has a message. She believes the current Covid-19 crisis provides an exciting opportunity to transform society. But how? As unlikely as it sounds, haircare could be a good place to start.

Fashion © France 24

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