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“Macron, resign!” — yellow vest protesters back in Paris

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Yellow vest protesters in Paris on January 5, 2019 | REUTERS

Thousands of yellow vest protesters were back on the streets of Paris on Saturday (January 5), flooding the Champs Elysees and calling for the resignation of President Emmanuel Macron, though with no signs of the violence which has marred recent demonstrations.

In the eighth consecutive week of nationwide protests, people wearing the familiar high-visibility vests which have become their symbol called for a boost in purchasing power and direct democracy via a “people’s initiative referendum”.

Unusually, the protests in the capital were organised and the Paris police department was alerted to their planned route.

The protesters marched from the Champs Elysees to the city’s former stock exchange in the busy shopping district around the Grands Boulevards.

No immediate figures for participation were available but the numbers in the streets have been steadily declining in recent weeks.

Saturday’s protest comes after the French government on Friday dismissed the protesters as agitators whose only goal was to topple it, signaling a toughening stance against the movement. — Reuters

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Fire breaks out at Paris iconic Notre Dame Cathedral

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday (April 15), gutting the roof of the Paris landmark stunning France and the world, but firefighters managed to save the shell of the stone structure and its two main bell towers from collapse.

Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the eight centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof.

As it burned into the evening, firefighters battled to prevent one of the main bell towers from collapsing and tried to rescue religious relics and priceless artwork. One firefighter was seriously injured – the only reported casualty.

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and Archpriest of Notre Dame Cathedral Patrick Chauvet mourned the blaze.

The two paid tribute to the cathedral which has formed an important part of French history, with Hidalgo saying it was “a tragedy for the whole world.”

Chauvet confessed he was devastated by the fire.

Hidalgo praised the city’s solidarity in coming together to save the cathedral’s works of art and objects of worship, saying she had been able to work quickly with the Archpriest as well as the city of Paris and Minister of Culture Franck Riester.

Objects saved included the renowned centuries-old Crown of Thorns made from reeds and gold, believed by many to have been worn by Jesus, as well as the tunic of 13th-century king of France, Saint Louis.

Chavet, however, said it had been impossible to save some of the bigger paintings.

Firefighters managed to save the shell of the stone structure and its two main bell towers from collapse after the fire burst rapidly through the roof of the cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof. (REUTERS)

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Haiti protests turn deadly

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Vehicle on fire in the middle of a street in Port-au-Prince. Haiti on February 12, 2019 | Reuters

A man was shot during violent protests in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday (February 12) as Haitians continue to demonstrate against the state of the economy and corruption.

In graphic images, a man can be seen lying on the ground surrounded by other protesters after having been shot.

Protesters also set fire to a vehicle, while other people looted a store in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

The protests come amidst public anger over suspected corruption and allegations of embezzlement of funds of Petrocaribe, a Venezuela-sponsored oil programme.

At the backdrop of the protests is a local economy that is stagnating, a falling currency and soaring inflation. Protesters are calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. — Reuters

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Macron: Britain would be first loser in case of no-deal Brexit

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron addressing mayors during debate at the Grand-bourgtheroulde, France on January 15, 2019 | Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday (January 15) Britain would be the first loser if it left the European Union without a deal, after the British parliament resoundingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit divorce agreement.

Macron was reaching the end of an almost seven-hour debate with local officials at a town hall meeting in Normandy when he was told of the result of the British vote.

After praising the head of the European Council Donald Tusk and the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Macron said he expected Britain to eventually ask for more time to renegotiate a deal. — Reuters

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