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WEEK IN REVIEW

Week in Review: Lebanon's deadlock, a Supreme Court battle and Covid-19 clampdowns in France

A poster depicting Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (left) and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri (right). A tribute to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A woman wears a protective face mask in Bordeaux, France.
A poster depicting Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (left) and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri (right). A tribute to late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A woman wears a protective face mask in Bordeaux, France. © Ramzi Haidar, AFP/Jose Luis Magana, AFP/Philippe Lopez, AFP
7 min

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death just weeks ahead of the US presidential election has triggered a fierce battle at the Capitol and exposed the frailties of the country's justice system. Also this week, Covid-19 caused the UN to hold its first virtual General Assembly and France to impose deeply unpopular restrictions in hard-hit areas. In other news, we look at the continuing political deadlock in Lebanon, the trial of suspected accomplices in the January 2015 Paris attacks, the latest scandal roiling the financial world, and the death of iconic French singer Juliette Gréco.

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ARTICLES

Ginsburg’s death sparks notorious divisions, exposes frailty of US judicial system

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s mortality haunted liberals in recent years and the death of the country’s beloved “RBG” has exposed the frailties of the US judicial selection process. But can the world’s leading democracy shed the American exceptionalism woven into its national DNA and heed the lessons?

A woman waves an 'RBG' flag outside the US Supreme Court at a makeshift memorial for late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 21, 2020.
A woman waves an 'RBG' flag outside the US Supreme Court at a makeshift memorial for late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 21, 2020. AFP - ALEX EDELMAN

Paris terror attacks trial recalls ‘terror’ and ‘cruelty’ of kosher store rampage

The gunman who stormed a Paris kosher supermarket in a gruesome attack in January 2015 had “no empathy whatsoever”, a former police chief told a court in the French capital this week, as victims and their loved ones relived the horror of the final chapter in a three-day killing spree that shocked the world.

Police outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket in eastern Paris on January 9, 2015.
Police outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket in eastern Paris on January 9, 2015. AFP Archives

‘Paris thinks we’re small fry’: Marseille seething over order to shut bars and restaurants

The French government’s highly publicised efforts to decentralise the country’s Covid-19 response ran into the sand on Thursday as politicians and business leaders in Marseille responded furiously to the closure of the city’s bars and restaurants, saying they had not been consulted.

Lebanon's Shiite parties stall formation of new government

The Shiite bloc, composed of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, are stalling the formation of Lebanon's new government by insisting that the Finance Minister post be given to a person from their community. Their stance has isolated them from the rest of the country's political class, as well as Hezbollah's Christian ally, President Michel Aoun.

A poster depicting Lebanese Shiite leaders, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (left) and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri (right).
A poster depicting Lebanese Shiite leaders, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (left) and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri (right). © Ramzi Haidar, AFP file photo

World should not be dominated by US-China 'rivalry', Macron tells UN

World leaders must not let themselves be dominated by a geopolitical power struggle between the US and China, French President Emmanuel Macron told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday as the annual global diplomatic gathering went online amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

VIDEO REPORTS

'It was the most horrible four hours of my life,' says survivor of Hyper Cacher attack

Zarie Sibony was working as a cashier at a Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris when it became the scene of a gruesome attack and hostage-taking by a jihadist gunman in 2015. She spoke to FRANCE 24 ahead of her hearing in the trial of 14 suspects accused of aiding the gunmen in the January 2015 Paris attacks

Hyper Cacher attack survivor Zarie Sibony.
Hyper Cacher attack survivor Zarie Sibony. © AFP / FRANCE 24

‘The Gluers’: French group denounces femicide with a poster campaign

Over the past year, anti-femicide posters have been appearing on walls all around France and across Paris. The campaign, which denounces violence against women and aims to raise awareness, has been praised but also criticised. FRANCE 24 met some members of “the Gluers” group running the campaign.

Whale beachings puzzle scientists as hundreds die in Australia mass stranding

Some four hundred whales have died in a mass stranding in southern Australia, an occurence that continues to bafflle scientists. One key factor appears to be whales' tight social cohesion: the bond between them is so strong that even once they are rescued, many turn around and beach themselves again.

A pod of pilot whales, some 500 strong, trapped on the western shore of Tasmania.
A pod of pilot whales, some 500 strong, trapped on the western shore of Tasmania. © AFP pools

THE INTERVIEW

'In some areas, IS group activities are increasing,' says Iraqi FM

Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein spoke to FRANCE 24 about the challenges facing his country and the whole region. He said the Islamic State (IS) group was still a threat and that the number of IS group fighters and their networks was higher than a recent UN estimate of 10,000 in Iraq and Syria.

ENCORE!

Tributes to Juliette Gréco: 'Her life was like no other'

She personified the spirit and style of post-war Paris with a career spanning more than seven decades. Music critic Marjorie Hache tells us about the legacy of actress and singer Juliette Gréco, who died this week aged 93. 

Juliette Gréco, the iconic French singer and actress, died on Wednesday aged 93.
Juliette Gréco, the iconic French singer and actress, died on Wednesday aged 93. © AFP

Venice in times of Covid-19

Venice is widely considered to be the centre of European art and architecture. But after six months of Covid-19, including three months of lockdown that crushed the tourism industry, our culture editor Eve Jackson visits the city to find out how it's changed.

FOCUS

On patrol with Nigeria's 'Agro Rangers', who protect farmers from Boko Haram

The rainy season is the best time to grow rice and corn in Borno, one of Nigeria's agricultural regions, but farmers are frequently targeted by Boko Haram attacks. In a bid to improve security, teams of so-called "Agro Rangers" were set up a year ago by authorities. Our correspondent Moïse Gomis went on patrol with them on the outskirts of Maiduguri and elsewhere in Borno.

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya's top judge demands dissolution of parliament over lack of women lawmakers

Kenya's top judge has advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve the country's male-dominated parliament, saying lawmakers have failed to meet a constitutional provision which would allow for one-third of seats to be occupied by women.

EYE ON AFRICA
EYE ON AFRICA © FRANCE 24

THE 51 PERCENT

French doctors fight proposed government ban on virginity certificates

A controversial debate rages in the French medical community as the government prepares to pass legislation that would punish doctors who issue certificates of virginity to young women. We also look at how a group of Israeli teenage girls campaigning for the right to wear shorts to school has triggered a national debate on the growing influence of religion in the country.

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Dirty money: FinCEN scandal rocks global banking sector

Another financial scandal rocks the banking world, sending shares tumbling. After nearly a decade of leaks, what lessons have we learned? Also in this week's show, contact-tracing apps could help contain the coronavirus pandemic — but how to convince the public to use them? We speak to the developer of Ireland's breakout system about its success.

The financial sector has been hit hard by a report alleging that a number of banks have continued to profit from illicit dealings with criminal networks despite warnings from regulators.
The financial sector has been hit hard by a report alleging that a number of banks have continued to profit from illicit dealings with criminal networks despite warnings from regulators. © istock

 

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