Famed French serial killer expert Stephane Bourgoin has confessed that his prestigious career is founded on lies, following a series of revelations. Bourgoin, 67, built a reputation as the country’s foremost expert in serial killers, writing more than 75 books and producing dozens of documentaries, before an investigation brought him down. Bourgoin has now admitted falsehoods, both in the press and on his personal Instagram account.
A French hospital that retested old samples from pneumonia patients has discovered that it treated a man with the coronavirus as early as 27 December, nearly a month before the French government confirmed its first cases. In France, almost 25,000 people have died with the virus since 1 March. The country confirmed its first three Covid-19 cases on 24 January, including two patients in Paris and another in the south-western city of Bordeaux.
French counter-terrorism police are to investigate a stabbing attack in which two people were killed and five injured. A 33-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker was arrested after the attack at Romans-sur-Isère, in the Drôme department in south-east France, on Saturday morning. Two other men, both said to be from Sudan, one of whom shared a flat with the suspect, are also being questioned in police custody.
A French ski resort has used helicopters to deliver snow after mild weather dried out its slopes, threatening it with closure. The Luchon-Superbagnères resort in the Pyrenees arranged for around 50 tonnes of snow to be dropped on its slopes. Taken from higher mountains, the snow was dumped on slopes for beginners and children on Friday and Saturday. Temperatures have risen above 10C across the Pyrenees this week, leaving ski slopes devoid of snow.
Emmanuel Macron is to give up his own generous presidential pension in an attempt to calm anger over politicians’ privileges, as French transport strikes caused chaos for Christmas travelers. Macron, who turned 42 this weekend, made the symbolic move to become the first president in more than 50 years to give up the automatic pension of more than €6,000 a month that all French leaders receive after leaving office.
A nationwide strike has severely disrupted schools and public transport across France. Workers are angry at being forced to retire later or face reduced pensions. School and transport workers have been joined by police, lawyers, and hospital and airport staff. France’s largest nationwide strike in years was agreed by unions unhappy with President Emmanuel Macron’s plans for a universal points-based pension system.
The Trump administration is threatening to slap import taxes on $2.4bn worth of French goods in retaliation for the country’s new digital services tax. The US says the tax penalizes firms like Google, Amazon and Facebook, and is proposing to hit back with tariffs of up to 100% on products including cheese, champagne and handbags. The digital tax is designed to prevent tech firms from dodging taxes.
Thirteen French soldiers were killed when two helicopters collided during an operation against jihadists in Mali, the French president’s office said. It’s believed to be the biggest single loss of life for the French military since the 1980s. An investigation has begun. In 2013, France deployed thousands of troops to Mali after Islamist militants seized huge parts of the north.
A tiny early Renaissance masterpiece found in a French woman’s kitchen during a house clearance has fetched more than €24m at auction, making it the most expensive medieval painting ever sold. Christ Mocked, by the 13th-century Florentine painter Cimabue, had hung for decades above a cooking hotplate in the open-plan kitchen of a 1960s house near Compiègne, north of Paris.
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.