France has canceled a high-level meeting with the UK this week that was meant to discuss the renewal of a collaboration on missiles in a worsening of a row over submarines. In an extraordinary step, France also recalled its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra for consultations – a sign of extreme unhappiness at the so-called AUKUS defence alliance.
Early results indicate both President Emmanuel Macron and his opponent Marine Le Pen will fail to make the gains they were hoping for in the first round of regional elections in France. Mr Macron’s centrist party is projected to gain more than 10% of the vote. Ms Le Pen’s far-right National Rally has also fallen short of expectations. Both are trailing the conservative party, Les Républicains.
A French court on Tuesday ordered IKEA to pay a 1 million euro ($1.2 million) fine for spying on its French staff, after the world’s biggest furniture retailer was found guilty of improperly gathering and storing data on its employees. The French branch of Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores worldwide, was accused of snooping on its workers and some clients over several years.
Two people have been arrested in southeast France after French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face by a man in the crowd in Tain-l’Hermitage, BFM TV and RMC radio reported. A video clip circulating on Twitter shows a man in a green T-shirt and glasses shout “Down with Macronia” in French before slapping Macron’s face.
Thousands of victims of the Pip breast implant scandal, including 540 British women, will receive compensation after a Paris appeals court ruling. The case in Paris was brought by 2,700 women who said they had suffered long-term health effects after receiving implants manufactured by a French firm which were filled with cheap, industrial-grade silicone not cleared for human use.
France has urged all its citizens in Pakistan to leave the country temporarily amid violent anti-French protests across the country. In an email obtained by French news agency AFP, the country’s embassy in Pakistan warned of “serious threats to French interests in Pakistan”. Protests were sparked months ago after a French magazine republished cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
French MPs have voted to suspend domestic airline flights that can be made by direct train in less than two and a half hours, as part of a series of climate and environmental measures. After a heated debate in the Assemblée Nationale at the weekend, the ban, a watered-down version of a key recommendation from President Emmanuel Macron’s citizens’ climate convention, was adopted.
Emmanuel Macron is expected to officially announce on Thursday the closure of the École Nationale d’Administration, the elite French finishing school for the country’s leaders where he studied. Founded by Gen Charles de Gaulle in October 1945 with the idea of breaking the upper-class hold over France’s higher echelons, it has instead become a byword for an establishment elite that critics have accused it of encouraging groupthink.
President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday ordered France into its third national lockdown and said schools would close for three weeks as he sought to push back a third wave of Covid-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals. With the death toll nearing 100,000, intensive care units in the hardest-hit regions at breaking point and a slower-than-planned vaccine rollout, Macron was forced to abandon his goal of keeping the country open to protect the economy.
A French drugmaker has been found guilty of aggravated deceit and involuntary manslaughter over a weight loss pill at the center of a major health scandal. The drug Mediator was developed for use in overweight diabetics and was on the market for 33 years. It was eventually withdrawn in 2009 over concerns it could cause serious heart problems. Hundreds of people are believed to have died as a result of the drug.