Floyd murder trial & Biden infrastructure plan, Covid-19 at Easter, Mozambique, Italy spy row

THE WORLD THIS WEEK
THE WORLD THIS WEEK © FRANCE 24

It is hard to be clinical and cool-headed when the evidence is so disturbing. This week saw the opening of the trial in Minneapolis of the police officer accused in the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd. The jury on opening day was shown that nine-minute video of Derek Chauvin keeping his knee on the handcuffed victim's neck. From witnesses to experts and loved ones, each day was wrought with emotion – like Thursday, when Floyd's girlfriend Courteney Ross took the stand. That same emotion sparked worldwide outrage last May and the question of why it is not an open and shut case.

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In the Covid-19 context, Joe Biden this week unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. But rebuilding roads and bridges is only the fourth item on a list topped by expanding care for the elderly and people with disabilities plus affordable housing. The US president also put the accent on jobs and America's rivalry with China.

The French are heading to the country: at least, those that can afford it. An Easter weekend dash is on before lockdown three – the one the president tried to delay as long as possible. But with hospitals overrun, Emmanuel Macron took to national television on Wednesday to break the bad news.

In case you are wondering how a nation of lapsed Catholics takes to edicts from on high, one opinion poll says seven out of 10 French approve of the government's measures, but 46 percent admit they intend to break the rules. Those numbers jump to six out of 10 for young people.

Mozambique's military claims that a €15 billion natural gas project spearheaded by French energy giant Total is safe from jihadist insurgents who last week overran the northern coastal town of Palma, killing dozens – including foreigners – and forcing thousands to flee. Government forces have still not regained control, work at the complex is on hold and the displaced who have managed to flee by foot or by boat come with harrowing stories.

Finally, it was the week where Sicily's top Covid-19 official had to quit when he was caught on tape ordering a downplaying of the infection rate and an Italian frigate captain was caught red-handed in a Rome car park selling military secrets to a Russian military attaché.

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.

 

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