The French authority for health (HAS) will recommend the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for people of all ages, including people aged 65 and over, HAS announced Tuesday. In a statement, the HAS, which initially recommended the vaccine only for people under 65, cited “encouraging” preliminary results of a large-scale study on the impact of the vaccine on COVID-19 hospitalizations among the Scottish population as the reason for its change.
Three French police officers were shot dead by a man when they arrived at a home in Saint-Just, a remote commune in central France, to respond to a domestic violence call, police said on Wednesday. The house caught fire, and the suspected gunman was later found dead in his car, police said. The incident took place in a small hamlet in Saint-Just, about 300 miles south-east of Paris.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has tested positive for coronavirus, his office has said. The Elysee Palace in Paris said on Thursday the 42-year-old was tested after showing early symptoms. He will now isolate for seven days but will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely. His wife Brigitte, 67, is also self-isolating, her office said, although she is not showing any COVID-19 symptoms.
The French government, determined to combat an ideology it views as “the enemy of the Republic,” on Wednesday unveiled draft legislation to combat radical Islamism. The law, which has been assailed by Turkey and other Muslim countries, and criticized as “heavy-handed” by the U.S. envoy on international religious freedom, reflects President Emmanuel Macron’s resolve to address a series of terror attacks that have left more than 260 people dead in France since 2015.
Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the president of France from 1974 to 1981 who became a champion of European integration, died on Wednesday. He was 94. Giscard d’Estaing’s office said he passed away in his family home in the Loir-et-Cher region, in central France, after contracting COVID-19. He wrote the article in the EU charter that allowed Brexit to happen — the brief measure that allows a member state to leave the bloc.
Four French police officers have been charged in connection with the beating of a black music producer a week after their allegedly unprovoked attack was exposed in a video that scandalized the country. The footage showed police punching, kicking and using a truncheon on Michel Zecler, who alleged that they also racially abused him several times. Before the video came to light, the officers had accused Zecler, 41, of resisting arrest and attacking them.
French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Muslim leaders to accept a “charter of Republican values” as part of a broad clampdown on radical Islam. On Wednesday he gave the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) a 15-day ultimatum to accept the charter. It will state that Islam is a religion and not a political movement, while also prohibiting “foreign interference” in Muslim groups.
Leaders from around the world have offered condolences and expressed their solidarity with the people of France after the nation suffered a second suspected Islamist extremist attack on its soil in a fortnight. President Emmanuel Macron said France was “under attack” in the wake of the killings inside the Notre-Dame basilica in the coastal city of Nice on Thursday which left three worshippers dead.
A woman has been decapitated in a suspected terror attack in Nice, French police say. Three people have died and several others are injured after a knife attack took place near the Notre Dame church. Nice’s mayor Christian Estrosi tweeted the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” several times. The nation raised the security alert for French territory to the highest level in response to the attack.
France has appealed for foreign governments to stamp out calls by what it calls a “radical minority” for a boycott of French products after Emmanuel Macron’s public backing of the Muhammad caricatures. The appeal came as anger escalated across the Islamic world over the president’s remarks at a national tribute to the murdered high-school teacher Samuel Paty last week.