French detectives are continuing to work to establish the motive of a state employee who killed four colleagues with a kitchen knife inside Paris’s police headquarters on Thursday. The assailant, named in the media as Mickaël H, 45, had held an administrative job in the IT department for more than 15 years. Questions remain over what might have led him to carry out the attack, which is being treated as potentially a personal issue.
Former French President Jacques Chirac has died at the age of 86. In Paris today a minute’s silence was held in the National Assembly when the former President’s death was announced. In a long career which began under Charles de Gaulle, Chirac was twice Prime Minister of France before serving as head of state from 1995 to 2007. During his term his opposition to the Iraq War put him at loggerheads with George W. Bush and Tony Blair.
Two heatwaves that hit France this summer claimed more than 1,500 more lives, health minister Agnes Buzyn has said. This year’s heatwaves hit France in June and July, with a new record temperature of 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit) recorded in the south on 28 June. The toll was significantly lower than the disastrous summer of 2003, when an estimated 15,000 people died during an August heatwave.
Brazilian women are probably ashamed of President Jair Bolsonaro, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday, hitting back after the Brazilian leader mocked Macron’s wife on Facebook. The leaders have been feuding in recent weeks, with Macron blaming Bolsonaro for fires in the Amazon and accusing him of lying about climate change policy. Bolsonaro responded on Sunday to a Facebook post that compared the looks of his wife Michelle, 37, with Macron’s 66-year-old wife Brigitte.
French police fired tear gas to disperse protesters from Paris’s Champs Elysees avenue on Sunday, a few hours after President Emmanuel Macron had reviewed the traditional Bastille Day military parade alongside other European leaders. Paris authorities had banned ‘yellow vest’ demonstrations near the parade but several groups linked to the movement had called for gatherings around the Champs Elysees on Bastille Day, a national holiday in France.
The U.S. will investigate a French plan to impose taxes on technology companies, a move that has been a prelude to new U.S. tariffs under the Trump administration. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will have as long as a year to examine whether the plan would hurt U.S. technology firms, and suggest remedies. The so-called 301 investigation is the same tool President Donald Trump used to impose tariffs on Chinese goods because of the country’s alleged theft of intellectual property.
Europe continues to endure record-breaking temperatures as hot air from the Sahara engulfs the continent. The French capital has seen temperatures soar past 40C (104F) and the local council has banned up to 60% of its cars to limit pollution that has been made worse by the heat. Older and less efficient cars have been banned within the A86 second ring-road – which includes Paris and 79 towns around it – for as long as the hot weather lasts.
Facebook has agreed to identify people in France suspected of using hate speech on its platform. It is the first time the social media giant will hand over identifying information to authorities about its users in cases that are not related to terrorism or violent acts. The deal follows meetings earlier this month between French President Emmanuel Macron and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
A Paris appeals court has ordered the resumption of life support for a Frenchman from whom doctors had only hours earlier begun withdrawing treatment, in a wrenching case that has divided his family and country. The court ordered authorities “to take all measures” to keep alive Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old quadriplegic with severe brain damage who has been in a vegetative state for a decade, pending a review by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities. Other courts this year had backed their assessment that nothing more could be done for Lambert, who has been kept alive ever since a car accident in 2008.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced tax cuts for middle-class workers and plans for a more representative parliament Thursday as part of a promised response to the weekly yellow vest protests that damaged his presidency. He unveiled measures to boost pensions under 2,000 euros ($ 2,226) and said he would propose an overhaul of France’s retirement system during the summer. But he said the “best solution” for financial disparities is “to cut taxes for a maximum number of citizens and especially those who are working, especially the middle-class.”