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.”
Pledges of hundreds of millions of euros are rolling in from wealthy French and international donors to pay for the planned reconstruction of the Notre Dame Cathedral damaged in Monday’s dramatic fire. The promised donations were announced Tuesday as fire investigators continue to assess the damage to the architectural landmark built over 850 years ago. President Emmanuel Macron, in a televised speech Tuesday night, said the cathedral could be reconstructed in five years. The project could also take not years, but decades, experts say. No cost or time estimates have been announced.
A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, though firefighters saved the main bell towers and outer walls from collapse before bringing the blaze under control. 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. The fire, after burning for about 8 hours, was largely extinguished by 0300 CET on Tuesday.
The billionaires behind many of France’s top luxury brands have pledged €300 million ($339 million) to help reconstruct Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral following a devastating fire. LVMH Group (LVMHF), which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, said Tuesday that the company, along with the family of CEO Bernard Arnault, would put up €200 million ($226 million). The family of François Pinault, which controls brands including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, has pledged an additional €100 million ($113 million). French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to rebuild the site, saying Monday that France will launch an international fundraising campaign to assist with the effort.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across France to protest against a recent rise in antisemitic attacks. It comes amid a rise in anti-Jewish attacks in France, which is home to the world’s largest Jewish population outside of Israel and the US. The government has warned antisemitism is “spreading like poison” in France, despite the trauma still felt after 78,000 French Jews were deported to death camps, aided by the French collaborationist Vichy government, during the Nazi occupation in the second world war.
Paris has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassador from Rome, in the worst crisis between the two neighboring countries since the second world war. Italy’s two deputy prime ministers, the far-right Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio of the populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement, have in recent months criticized the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on a host of inflammatory issues, from immigration to the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) anti-government demonstrations.
At least 10 people, including a baby, died after a fire engulfed an eight-story Paris apartment building just before dawn Tuesday, sending fleeing residents to the roof to escape the flames visible from the street. A 40-year-old female resident, said to have a history of psychiatric problems, was detained near the building in the quiet neighborhood as police opened an investigation into voluntary arson resulting in death. More than 30 people – including six firefighters – were injured in what authorities said is the French capital’s deadliest fire in over a decade.
Chérif Chekatt who killed three people and wounded a dozen others at a Christmas market in Strasbourg was killed by French police on Thursday. Chekatt initially opened fire on officers when they tried to question him. Chekatt’s death came after a widespread manhunt involving hundreds of soldiers, police officers, and anti-terrorist specialists.
French police have appealed for help from security forces in searching Strasbourg Christmas market shooting suspect Chérif Chekatt who killed two people and wounded others. Chekatt has a history of criminal convictions and entered Islamic extremism in prison. Police announced that if anyone sees the ‘dangerous’ suspect they should immediately call an emergency hotline.