Week in Review: Paris votes for its mayor, satire celebrates 'a woman' and rooftop urban farming

Week in Review
Week in Review © France 24

The founder of the Algorithmic Justice League seeks to correct racial bias in facial recognition software, a documentary film portrays loved ones who seek answers about those who have been forcibly disappeared during Syria’s civil war, and a rooftop farm in Paris aims to be the largest urban farm in Europe. 



‘A woman’: Wikipedia page records trials and achievements of invisible women

Building on the success of the hashtag #unefemme (a woman), which aims to call out everyday sexism in the media, a satirical Wikipedia page in French has begun recording the many accomplishments of women lumped together in news headlines under the anonymous label “a woman”.

With the launch of its BeiDou satellite, Beijing’s Space Silk Road is open for business

China has launched into orbit the final satellite needed to make its BeiDou navigation system a worldwide alternative to the American Global Positioning and the European Galileo systems. For Beijing, this satellite programme is crucial in more than one respect.

An uphill battle for Macron’s party in France’s municipal elections

As candidates in the second round of France’s municipal elections wrap up a campaign severely affected by Covid-19 restrictions, all eyes are on the party of President Emmanuel Macron and the mayoral race in Paris.

Abandoned by employers, Ethiopian domestic workers are dumped on Lebanon’s streets

The economic crisis in Lebanon, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has sparked a distressing phenomenon of predominantly Ethiopian migrant domestic workers being fired and dumped outside the consulate in Beirut. 

Back to school for millions in France as more Covid-19 restrictions lifted

Millions of French children returned to school this week after more than three months at home due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Pupils in kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools up to the age of 15 are required to return following a gradual reopening that began in recent weeks.

Paris statues of Voltaire and a colonial-era general splashed with red paint

Two Paris statues related to France’s colonial era were found covered in red paint amid global calls to take down monuments commemorating figures with links to slavery or colonialism.

‘I’m suffocating’: French police investigated over death of delivery driver

French investigators have questioned four police officers over the January arrest of a Paris delivery driver who died from asphyxia after the officers pinned him to the ground as he repeatedly shouted, “I’m suffocating”.

‘Ayouni’, the documentary film that puts a face to Syria's forcibly disappeared

Award-winning Palestinian director Yasmin Fedda's latest documentary “Ayouni” sheds light on Syria's forced disappearances through the intimate stories of Noura, the widow of cyber-activist Bassel Safadi, and Machi, the sister of Italian priest Paolo Dall'Oglio, who was abducted in Raqqa in 2013 and whose whereabouts remain unknown.

 The Families for Freedom bus
The Families for Freedom bus © Ayouni, Yasmin Fedda 2020



‘They are human too’: Indonesia locals rescue Rohingya refugees barred by Covid fears

Locals in Indonesia’s Aceh province rescued a group of Rohingya refugees stranded at sea after authorities refused to let them come ashore for fear they may have been carrying the coronavirus.

Farm on a Paris rooftop: Urban farm aims to be Europe’s largest

The first phase of a vast urban farming project in Paris is now under way following a two-month delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Set on a Paris rooftop, the farm is set to grow over the next two years to become the largest urban farm in Europe.

A new urban farming project in Paris hopes to become Europe's biggest by 2022.
A new urban farming project in Paris hopes to become Europe's biggest by 2022. © AFP / FRANCE 24




Covid-19: ‘Bolsonaro is disrespecting the victims,’ Brazil's ex-health minister says

Luiz Henrique Mandetta, a doctor by training, was President Jair Bolsonaro’s health minister at the start of the Covid-19 crisis in Brazil. He was fired in April amid a dispute with Bolsonaro over social-distancing measures. In an interview with FRANCE 24, Dr Mandetta strongly criticised the Brazilian leader: “His management of the situation ... has shocked people.”




With coronavirus found in water systems, is it safe to swim this summer?

With traces of the virus responsible for Covid-19 found in human sewage, scientists are studying whether there’s a risk it will spread to beaches and rivers this summer. How does the virus evolve in a marine environment? We take a closer look.


Fukushima's Olympic makeover: Will the ‘cursed’ area be safe from radioactivity in time for Games?

The 2021 Olympic Games, dubbed the “reconstruction Olympics”, should allow Japan to move on from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. The region has officially been cleaned up but many problems remain, such as radioactivity and "forbidden cities". Over the course of several months, our reporters followed the daily lives of the inhabitants of this “cursed” region.

Reporters © FRANCE 24



Racial bias: Correcting the code of facial recognition

As a faulty facial recognition match leads to the arrest of an innocent man in the US state of Michigan, we take a look at the underlying racial and gender bias of the technology. MIT's Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, is helping to correct the code.


Writer Nick Hornby: ‘The struggles of women are often more compelling than those of men’

Nick Hornby – the Academy Award-nominated writer of “About a Boy”, “Fever Pitch” and the cult classic “High Fidelity”– talks about his book, “State of the Union: A Marriage in Ten Parts”, which is being translated into French. Hornby also discusses writing about women and why in 2020 Zoë Kravitz was the right choice to play the male protagonist in the “High Fidelity” TV series.




Russian authorities wage war on ‘fake news’ amid Covid-19 pandemic

The Russian parliament fast-tracked a law against “fake news” at the end of March amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The legislation introduces criminal proceedings for the authors of false information in the media and is backed by an army of cyber activists who are tasked with trawling the internet. But Russian civil society groups say the law’s real function is to silence criticism of the authorities’ handling of the health crisis.


Difficult women and how they impacted our lives

“Difficult women” and how they have changed our lives: UK journalist Helen Lewis discusses her latest book on feminist pioneers. We also take a look at how teenage prostitution in France is on the rise, with concerns that the economic downturn caused by the pandemic will result in even more under-aged girls turning to sex work.



Discovering the most beautiful villages in France

Some 158 French villages belong to an elite club – those deemed the country’s most beautiful. In the hilly Auvergne region, the village of Usson clings to a volcanic peak at an altitude of 600 metres. In southern Aveyron, Cantobre is a real eagle’s nest: Only 15 inhabitants live on this cliff shaped by centuries of erosion. Further east in Provence, the peaceful village of Cotignac is nestled at the foot of a spectacular rock.

You Are Here
You Are Here © France 24


Pragmatism and resilience: Fashion amid Covid-19

Pragmatism and resilience aren't usually words associated with high-end fashion, but that was before Covid-19. FRANCE 24 takes you around the world to see how designers are innovating amid the pandemic.

Fashion © Just in XX Collections Taiwan

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