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WEEK IN REVIEW

Week in Review: Charlie Hebdo terror trial, Macron in Beirut and sexism in the French language

Week in Review
Week in Review © AF, Reuters, Wikimedia Commons
10 min

French President Emmanuel Macron returned to Lebanon and pushed for urgent reform a month after the devastating Beirut blast that compounded the misery of a nation in economic crisis. Also this week, FRANCE 24 covered the start of the long-awaited Charlie Hebdo terror attacks trial, the unspoken legacy of slavery in France and challenges to centuries of male dominance in the French language.

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ARTICLES

As it happened: Macron pushes for new government on return to Beirut

French President Emmanuel Macron pressed Lebanese leaders to form a new government and enact urgent reforms as he returned to Beirut for his second visit since the devastating August 4 blast. The French leader planted a cedar tree to mark the stricken nation's 100th anniversary and toured neighbourhoods ravaged by last month's deadly port explosion.  

French President Emmanuel Macron plants a cedar tree, Lebanon's emblem, in Jaj, near Beirut, on September 1, 2020.
French President Emmanuel Macron plants a cedar tree, Lebanon's emblem, in Jaj, near Beirut, on September 1, 2020. © Gonzalo Fuentes, REUTERS

France to relive Charlie Hebdo attacks as landmark terror trial opens in Paris

The trial of the deadly January 2015 terrorist attacks on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers and a kosher supermarket opened in a Paris court Wednesday after five years of investigations and a delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Charlie Hebdo defiantly marked the occasion by republishing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Behind sketch of black MP in shackles, a French failure to confront slave legacy

A row over a right-wing magazine depicting a black lawmaker as a slave in shackles has cast a stark light on the toxic – and largely unspoken – legacy of slavery in France, a country more accustomed to discussing its abolitionist past than the lucrative slave trade it took part in.

A memorial to the victims of slavery in the gardens of Bordeaux town hall, in southwest France.
A memorial to the victims of slavery in the gardens of Bordeaux town hall, in southwest France. © Georges GOBET, AFP

Iranian women go online to break silence over sexual abuse

Dozens of Iranian women have taken to social media to share their stories of sexual harassment and rape, breaking years of silence and shedding light on a legal system that is weighted against the victims.

France’s students go back to school amid concerns over Covid-19

With school bags on their backs and masks on their faces, France’s students headed back to class this week at the start of a school year in the shadow of the coronavirus. 

No country for grieving men as artist Ai Weiwei turns a lens on Wuhan outbreak

"Coronation", Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s latest documentary directed remotely from Europe, probes how ordinary citizens in Wuhan coped during the height of the coronavirus pandemic under the gaze of the all-monitoring state determined to relay a narrative of efficiency, not human loss or sorrow.

An ICU team at work in a Wuhan hospital in Ai Weiwei's documentary, "Coronation".
An ICU team at work in a Wuhan hospital in Ai Weiwei's documentary, "Coronation". © Ai Weiwei Films

Can France’s Greens unite the left and avert a Macron-Le Pen rematch?

President Emmanuel Macron’s drift to the centre-right of France’s political spectrum has opened up a sea of opportunity for the country’s fractured and rudderless left – a space the Greens, long a byword for factionalism and division, are hoping to span and unite.

Deauville's annual toast to US film swaps Hollywood flash for Cannes cameos

The coastal Normandy town of Deauville prepared to kick off its annual ode to American cinema despite the coronavirus pandemic. This year's red carpet may be conspicuously short on Hollywood stars but the fête promises to be an inclusive one, with some feature-length imports from the cancelled Cannes Film Festival joining the party.

 

VIDEO REPORTS

A meeting with Imam Mahmoud Dicko, who led the movement to oust Mali's president

Talks to resolve a political crisis in Mali remain at a standstill after military commanders toppled president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in an August 18 coup. West African leaders want power ceded to a civilian government within a year but the ruling junta proposes waiting until 2023. FRANCE 24 met with de facto opposition leader and Imam Mahmoud Dicko, who led the movement to oust Keita.

Malian imam Mahmoud Dicko has emerged as the most influential figure in the opposition to ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Malian imam Mahmoud Dicko has emerged as the most influential figure in the opposition to ousted president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. © FRANCE 24

A memorial for 122 murdered women: French anti-femicide poster campaign marks anniversary

The names of 122 women murdered by men over the past year in France were plastered onto a Paris wall on Sunday night as part of a memorial to mark the first year of a poster campaign that has put the country’s femicide crisis in the spotlight.

According to government figures, 146 women were killed by their partner or ex-partner in 2019 in France.
According to government figures, 146 women were killed by their partner or ex-partner in 2019 in France. © AFP/FRANCE 24

Parisians queue for hours for Covid-19 tests amid rising infections

Parisians are having to wait hours for a Covid-19 test as demand increases amid soaring new infection rates across the capital. 

Parisians queue at Hotel de Ville for Covid-19 tests
Parisians queue at Hotel de Ville for Covid-19 tests © Screen grab, France 24

 

THE INTERVIEW

Charlie Hebdo terror trial: Widow of cartoonist Wolinski speaks to FRANCE 24

As the trial of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks opened in Paris, FRANCE 24 spoke to Maryse Wolinski, widow of cartoonist Georges Wolinski, who was killed with 11 others in the attack on the magazine's offices in Paris. She has written a book in which she addresses Chérif Kouachi, the elder of the two brothers who carried out the massacre.

A painting by French street artist Christian Guemy, known as C215, in tribute to the Charlie Hebdo journalists and cartoonists who were killed by jihadist gunmen in January 2015.
A painting by French street artist Christian Guemy, known as C215, in tribute to the Charlie Hebdo journalists and cartoonists who were killed by jihadist gunmen in January 2015. © Thomas Coex, AFP

Ayad Allawi, former Iraqi premier: 'I don't think PM Kadhimi will be able to succeed'

As French President Emmanuel Macron wrapped up an official visit to Baghdad, former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi spoke to FRANCE 24 about the challenges facing the country's new government and its increasingly complex relations with neighbouring Iran, saying Tehran's interventions "weaken the whole region". 

 

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Is French a sexist language?

French is a tricky language. On top of the complicated grammar, there’s the masculine and feminine. It makes you wonder: Is the French language inherently sexist? 

FRENCH CONNECTIONS
FRENCH CONNECTIONS © France 24

REPORTERS

After the Beirut blast: The hopes and fears of Lebanon's youth

Lebanon is on its knees following the deadly explosion that hit the port of Beirut on August 4 and destroyed part of the city against a backdrop of government negligence, corruption and popular revolt. Our reporters followed the daily life of a group of young friends who opened up about their fears, hopes and dreams with the sincerity of those who have nothing left to lose.

ENCORE!

Cinema sails back into Venice as 77th Mostra goes ahead despite Covid-19

It's being touted as the first major international film festival since the outbreak of Covid-19. Culture editor Eve Jackson gives us the lowdown from Venice as the curtain rises on the Mostra, with strict health and safety measures in place. We also take a musical journey to Marseille, where the MUCEM museum has an exhibition exploring music and oral traditions from the Middle East.

Led by Cate Blanchett, jury members pose at the start of the 77th Venice Film Festival.
Led by Cate Blanchett, jury members pose at the start of the 77th Venice Film Festival. © Yara Nardi, Reuters

Bordeaux reborn: A cultural guide

Bordeaux is best known as France's wine HQ. But over the past decade, this wonderful old metropolis that's 10 times smaller than Paris has been enjoying a new lease of life thanks to huge investment in culture and transport – that includes an impressive wine museum. Eve Jackson travels to this UNESCO-listed city to discover its buzzing arts scene with a visit to the Cité du Vin and a tour of the regenerated banks of the Garonne river.

FOCUS

Picking up the pieces: The psychological aftermath of the Beirut blast

In the Karantina neighbourhood of Beirut, which was devastated by the colossal August 4 blast that killed almost 200 people and injured thousands more, psychologists are meeting residents who have lost everything in a bid to help them overcome their trauma. 

A resident of Beirut in the ravaged neighbourhood of Karantina.
A resident of Beirut in the ravaged neighbourhood of Karantina. © FRANCE 24

BUSINESS DAILY

France unveils €100bn stimulus, a third earmarked for green investment

The French government has unveiled the next phase of its coronavirus stimulus plan. The €100bn will be used to boost economic activity, protect businesses, and create jobs. A third of the funds are earmarked for green investment — with the environment a key pillar of the administration's vision.

THE 51 PERCENT

Dismantling the boys' club

The 51 Percent returns for its eighth season and kicks off by asking: What will it take to demolish the boys’ club culture that still exists in so many workplaces? We speak to professor Herminia Ibarra, a specialist in leadership and career development, on what it will take to level the playing field. 

REVISITED

The search for missing soldiers 70 years on from the Korean War

Seven decades after the end of the Korean War, Seoul embarked on a painstaking task to search for and identify the bodies of fallen soldiers still missing since the war. Our reporters witnessed this unprecedented programme in action that developed along the border between the two Koreas, thanks to an agreement forged with Pyongyang two years ago.

One of the last remnants of the Cold War, the Korean conflict may seem remote. But for millions of Koreans on both sides of the border, it is still very much alive.
One of the last remnants of the Cold War, the Korean conflict may seem remote. But for millions of Koreans on both sides of the border, it is still very much alive. © FRANCE 24

 

 

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